ROTHSCHILD, WI - Manufacture and distribution of SenseFi, a wood-fiber based food additive developed by Norway-based Borregaard, has been expanded, with a large-scale pilot plant operating in Rothschild, WI; and distribution through Socius Ingredients, in Chicago. The broad category is known as microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC)
Last year, Borregaard entered into an agreement with Watson Foods Co., Inc., West Haven, CT, for the acquisition of Watson’s Ultracel technology, including intellectual property rights and equipment at Watson’s site in Taylorville, IL, which formed the basis for the commercialization of Borregaard’s SenseFi. Thomas Dombrowski is general manager of the Rothschild, WI plant.
Thomas Dombrowski, GM, Sensefi USA
The NanoVisc project included fundamental research on nanocellulose dispersions, emulsions, colloids and gels for foodstuffs, cement and all viscoelastic materials that may utilize nanocellulose. The SenseFi product is another step in a broader movement to turn the massive available inedible cellulose from trees into digestible food - and alleviate shortages of food. In the U.S. market it is being used as a fat substitute. MCC is extensively used in food products such as baked foods, dairy products, desserts, frozen foods, and others as bulking agent and fat substitute, helping in enhancing mouthfeel, body, and consistency of the food product, and is projected at a $1 billion market by 2020, with Tembec among leading producers.
SenseFi, developed from NanoVisc research by Norway's Paper & Fiber Institute, is an advanced texture system based on specialty cellulose, which can be used in high quality food products as a substitute for fats. Borregaard invested $37 million in the plant, which at full capacity can generate annual sales in the range of $12 to $18 million. The product is used in ice cream, salad dressing, and as a binder in processed meats like hot dogs.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.