Ajinomoto Broadening its Focus

January 19/Tokyo/Asia Pulse -- Japan's Ajinomoto Co. is taking steps to broaden its business of supplying artificial sweeteners to food and beverage makers worldwide.

Low-calorie carbonated beverages already use the firm's aspartame, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, and from fiscal 2011, Ajinomoto will begin marketing the next-generation sweetener Advantame, which is said to be 20,000-40,000 times sweeter than sugar.

Consequently, the company will install equipment at factories scattered throughout the world in order to make composite products combining aspartame, Advantame and other artificial sweeteners in various proportions. The aim is to create mixtures that have specific sweetness profiles to meet the needs of users.

As a first step, Ajinomoto will set up equipment for making composite sweeteners at its plant in Shanghai this spring. Come next fall, it will begin operating similar equipment at its Tokai facility in Japan's Mie Prefecture. In fiscal 2011, it will install the machinery at its U.S. factory, and will follow up in fiscal 2013 at its plants in Brazil and Indonesia.

Using its technical abilities to manufacture composite sweeteners, Ajinomoto says it will work to develop new business among food and beverage makers in emerging economies and compete against rival Cargill Inc., which last December acquired Indonesia's PT Sorini Agro Asia Corporindo Tbk (JSX:SOBI), one of the world's leading makers of sorbitol.

From the January 24, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition