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Cognis expands sterol ester plant in Illertissen, Germany

Global specialty chemicals supplier Cognis has expanded sterol ester production capacities with a ten million euros investment at its plant in Illertissen, Germany. The new facility at the company’s international Nutrition & Health Competence Center is used for the production of premium grade plant sterol esters. Food manufacturers will now be able to incorporate these ingredients without any further processing – which makes the production process for functional foods much simpler for food manufacturers.

Cognis Nutrition & Health has been manufacturing Vegapure® plant sterols for use in functional foods and dietary supplements for several years. Products containing those ingredients are cholesterol-reducing margarine or milk drinks, which are among the most popular functional foods. A key requirement for functional food ingredients is that they are completely odorless and neutral in taste, which is exactly what Cognis’ refined plant sterol esters provide. The latest expansion of the esterification plant with an investment of ten million euros is another indication of the company’s continuing commitment to the market for sterol esters, functional food ingredients generally, and innovative products serving the global wellness trend.

Comments CEO Dr. Antonio Trius: “We are very proud to say that during the last few years around 35 million euros have been invested in the functional foods business in Illertissen. Natural foods that come with additional health benefits are at the heart of Cognis’ corporate strategy. These markets are central to our future, and we will continue to invest in state-of-the-art facilities to maintain our leading position.”

Vice President Nutrition & Health Dr. Gerhard Lobmaier adds: “We always aim to offer our customers solutions that are both ready-to-use and tailor-made. Thanks to our new refining facility, using our plant sterol esters now means virtually no extra work for them. Cognis refined plant sterol esters can be incorporated directly into spreads, beverages, breads, or other functional foods.”

Plant sterols and sterol esters from Cognis Nutrition & Health have been proven in clinical studies to lower the level of harmful LDL cholesterol, thereby actively promoting heart health. They are suitable for a variety of applications, including spreads, yogurts, rye bread, milk drinks and other beverages.

Cognis’ international Nutrition & Health Competence Center in Illertissen, Germany, is the company’s global manufacturing site for emulsifiers, stabilizers, plant sterol esters, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The production site is backed up by extensive food research and development facilities.


With the new facility at its international Nutrition & Health Competence Center, Cognis can now offer its customers ready-to-use plant sterol esters

About Cognis
Cognis is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients, with a particular focus on the areas of wellness and sustainability. The company employs about 7,700 people, and it operates production sites and service centers in 30 countries. Cognis has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets, and the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Another main focus is on products for a number of other industries, such as coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles, as well as agriculture and mining. The subsidiary Pulcra Chemicals offers specialized chemical products and process expertise to customers in the fiber, textile, and leather industries. Cognis also holds a 50-percent stake in the joint venture Cognis Oleochemicals, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of oleochemicals.

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and SV Life Sciences. In 2006, Cognis recorded sales of 3.37 billion euros and an Adjusted EBITDA (operating result) of 394 million euros.

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