MINNEAPOLIS, May 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Cargill and Hayashibara Company Ltd.
of Japan said today they had signed a letter of intent to evaluate the
trehalose market in the Americas to determine the feasibility of Cargill
establishing a manufacturing and marketing business for the multi-functional
As part of this evaluation, Cargill has been granted an exclusive
distributorship to market food grade trehalose throughout the Americas,
effective immediately. Cargill will also offer a pharmaceutical grade.
Trehalose is a unique, naturally occurring sugar with many important
functional characteristics. It is about 45 percent as sweet as sucrose.
Trehalose has a potentially large market since it can be used as a component
of sweeteners, seasonings, preserved and frozen foods and soft drinks, and as
a moisture retainer in cosmetics and a preservative in pharmaceutical
"Numerous attempts have been made by others to produce trehalose at low
cost, but none have been commercially viable," said Dr. Alan Richards, vice
president of Hayashibara International. "Using Hayashibara's expertise in
carbohydrate chemistry and enzyme technology, Hayashibara Biochemical
Laboratories (HBL) has developed a unique process for high-yield, large-scale
production of trehalose directly from starch at a fraction of the cost of
"Cargill has studied the uses of trehalose in food for several years,"
said Bruce Leslie, leader of Cargill's specialty food business development
group. "We are excited about developing the potential business opportunities
associated with trehalose and growing our relationship with Hayashibara."
"Hayashibara selected Cargill because of its reputation for excellence,
broad food ingredient market presence, and world class manufacturing skills,"
said Katsuaki Hayashibara, director of Overseas Business Development.
Both companies have performed extensive applications testing and are
engaged in an ongoing joint research program for trehalose.
"If the two companies determine that the trehalose market and business
conditions are suitable, Cargill will be granted exclusive rights to the
Hayashibara technology in the Americas," Leslie said. "Cargill will then
design and construct a large-scale trehalose production facility that will
revolutionize the cost of the product."
Trehalose produced by the Hayashibara technology has been self-affirmed as
generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a multiple-use direct additive for
general use in foods. A GRAS Notification submission has been filed with the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is currently under review by the
"Until recently, trehalose has been cost prohibitive to the food industry,
and its uses have been limited to the stabilization of proteins and biological
systems in pharmaceutical applications and in cosmetics," Leslie said. "With
the new production technology and affirmation that it is GRAS, trehalose is
now available at reasonable pricing to create new opportunities in the food
HBL was founded in 1970 as a research division of Hayashibara Company Ltd.
in Okayama, Japan. The parent company has more than a century-long history of
innovations in the field of carbohydrate science. Hayashibara Company Ltd.
was the first company in the world to commercialize the manufacture of glucose
from starch using enzymatic hydrolysis.
Since that time, Hayashibara has continued to commercialize various
starch-based saccharides that have applications in the food, cosmetic and
pharmaceutical industries. The Hayashibara trehalose production technology
was developed in 1994 by HBL and the Company has filed patents in numerous
Cargill is an international marketer, processor and distributor of
agricultural, food, financial and industrial products and services with
82,000 employees in 59 countries. Trehalose demonstrates Cargill's commitment
to specialty food ingredients as part of its ongoing dedication to deliver
innovative customer solutions.
SOURCE Cargill, Incorporated