The Canada-based ingredient producer announced completed and ongoing expansion plans for its work with malic and fumaric acid products earlier this month. The initial step in the expansion process was to boost capacity for its malic acid production facilities by 4,000 tons a year, the company reported.
Bartek Ingredients manufacturers specialty chemical additives for use in the feed, food and beverage markets, according to company information. Its product lines include fumaric acid, malic acid and maleic anhydride and it sells to more than 35 countries.
The expansion and ongoing series of capital investment projects slated for 2019 are part of the company’s effort to grow capacity, capabilities and meet the increasing demand for malic and fumaric acid products, said Jeff Bilig, VP of business development with Bartek.
“The broad utility of malic acid has created a growing demand around the world in food and non-food industries alike,” he told FeedNavigator.
Along with expanding production, the company also has been investing in research to better support its current markets and develop new uses for its product line, he said. “These opportunities are what drive our decisions to grow the company, including the production expansion,” he added.
The efforts include work looking at the use of organic acids by producers interested in trimming antibiotic use, Bilig said. Adding, “One of the many trends that our products can address is the increased interest in limiting the use of antibiotics in animal production.”
“Organic acids, including malic and fumaric acid, are entering conversations around growth promotion and disease prevention in animals,” he said. “We’re continuing to research these relationships so that we can help our customers formulate animal feed applications that meet their customers’ demands.”
The company is focusing on animal nutrition as a growth area, which is one element driving the expansion, said Bilig.
“We have proof of concept that supports the use of malic acid to enhance feed palatability, malic and/or fumaric acid to support weight gain in piglets, and as alternatives to, and partial replacements for, some antibiotics,” he said. “Bartek is targeting animal nutrition as a growth area in 2019 and beyond.”
Expansion details: completed and impending
TorQuest Partners, a Canadian manager of private equity funds, acquired Bartek in late 2018.
The acquisition provided a foundation for the series of strategic capital investment efforts to address capability and capacity, said Bilig.
Initial steps to increase production started by streamlining the process, said Bilig. That optimization effort boosted production by 4,000 tons for 2019. However, additional capital projects are slated to start throughout the year and further expand production for malic and fumaric acid.
“We know that in order to keep ahead of our anticipated demand for malic and fumaric acid, our plant needs continual investment – not just a one-time capacity increase,” he added.
The initial capacity expansion was a step that could be taken quickly as part of the company’s commitment to strengthening its operations and brand along with addressing customer needs, he said. However, the next step will be to add an additional 5,000 tons of production in malic and fumaric acid by the end of the year.
The capacity expansion is set to be added to the company’s current production facility in Ontario, he said.
The expansion efforts also include upgrades to laboratory facilities, the company stated.