Fazer group invests €40 million in xylitol facility for confectionery and gum ranges
The Fazer group has confirmed a €40 million investment in an oat hull xylitol manufacturing facility in Finland aimed at making innovative use of an ingredient used in a number of segments including confectionery.
Developed over the next year, the facility will support a number of its operations including production of pastilles and chewing gum, and will create around 30 new jobs.
The xylitol factory will be built next to its oat mill on the company’s Lahti site, and claims to be the first of its kind globally that is capable of producing many forms of xylitol, supporting the market needs of the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. As the company (picture with some of its retail travel confectionery range) explained about the product processing – within its oat milling process, a substantial amount of oat hulls are derived as a side stream and contain xylose which can be used to produce xylitol.
“We have at hand an innovation where we combine patentable new technology, healthier options to consumers and an excellent example of an innovative circular economy solution. We believe that xylitol from a plant-based Nordic raw material with a Nordic origin will create interest also outside Finland and the Nordic countries, even globally. We plan to expand the xylitol production to our mill in Sweden, too. I’m proud of this example of the fearless creativity at Fazer, and we are excited about the new opportunities ahead of us,” says Christoph Vitzthum, president and CEO, Fazer Group.
The company said it was investing in the development of new production technologies and solutions. It said the production of xylitol from oat hulls represented an innovative used of oat hulls, which are presently mainly used for energy production.
Modern consumers are seeking healthier options to replace refined white sugar. Xylitol offers excellent potential for future product development. Fazer said it aims to be the only xylitol manufacturer producing xylitol from a plant-based raw material with Finnish origin. It is targeting further expansion in Northern Europe and beyond.