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Mitsubishi Chemical expands production capacity for sugar-ester emulsifier

| By Mary Bailey

Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corp. (MCG Group; Tokyo) will expand its sugar-ester emulsifier production capacity by adding a new line (production capacity: 1,100 metric tons/year) to the production facilities scheduled to go into full-scale operation in March 2024 (production capacity: 2,000 m.t./yr) at the Mitsubishi Chemical Kyushu Plant (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture) to help meet the global demand for high-quality food products. Construction of the new line began in January 2024, and operation is scheduled to start in March 2026.

Sugar Ester is an emulsifier made primarily from sucrose and fatty acids derived from vegetable oils and fats. It functions to mix water and oil evenly, helping to maintain quality during food processing, distribution, and storage, and is used across a wide range of food products: beverages (e.g., canned coffee), dairy products (e.g., whipped cream), and confectionery (e.g., cakes and chocolate). The MCG Group’s Sugar Ester products account for approximately 70% of global market share, their strength lying not only in their superior emulsification ability but also in their capacity to be optimized in composition and structure to satisfy specific customer needs.

To meet steady domestic demand, growing overseas demand from China and other countries, and BCP requirements, the MCG Group plans to start full-scale operation of the production facilities at the Kyushu Plant (2,000 tons/year) in March 2024 to complement those at the Tokai Plant (production capacity: 10,000 tons/year; Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture) currently in operation. The MCG Group is also considering establishing sales offices in various regions this spring to strengthen its marketing structure in Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia, and has already begun improving the texture and taste of products and otherwise designing products to meet customer needs. Furthermore, the MCG Group’s Sugar Ester production facilities have already acquired kosher※1  and halal※2 certifications. With these initiatives expected to generate greater overseas demand, the MCG Group will be adding a new line (1,100 tons/year) at the Kyushu Plant to reinforce its supply chain.