Cargill, Hayashibara to Introduce Trehalose Sweetener to the Americas

May 30, 2000, 01:00 ET from Cargill, Incorporated

    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
 existing methods."
     "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