Growing demand for speciality starches has prompted Tate & Lyle to expand its instant starch production capacity at its facility in Koog aan de Zaan, the Netherlands.

The investment will enable the ingredients company to increase production of its Merigel range of pre-gelatinised starches, which are used as thickeners or stabilisers in puddings, pie fillings, soups, sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise and snack products.

James Blunt, senior vice president product management speciality food ingredients, said: "Two key factors are driving the growth of our Merigel range: firstly product innovation, such as fat reduction or exciting new developments in recipes; and secondly, the need for non-GM ingredients in a number of markets is also a key driver in Europe as well as in some other markets around the world.

Tate & Lyle says ingredients such as Merigel 300 and Merigel 301 can help manufacturers reduce fat content while maintaining a full, indulgent taste and texture at no extra cost.