CPIngredientes was born out of a joint venture between Corn Products International and Arancia Industrial in 1994. However, the CPIngredientes story in Mexico started in 1932, when Corn Products International established operations in Guadalajara, Jalisco as “Productos de Ma¡z.”
This new joint venture was established to market products globally, ensuring that consumers will have access to products manufactured in Mexico as well as imports from other countries. In 1998, the company was acquired by Corn Products International, Inc., becoming its subsidiary. In 2004, it changed its name to Compan¡a Proveedora de Ingredientes, S.A. de C.V., and later CPIngredientes, to facilitate worldwide marketing strategies.
After the NAFTA agreement, the company made a strong investment in fructose technology, becoming the first and only high fructose corn syrup 55 manufacturer in Mexico. “This investment pushed the company to a national level in the food and beverage industry,” said Oscar Gutierrez, engineer and director of new business development.
According to Gutierrez, the Mexican corn market is very dynamic and innovative, following United States market trends. “There is a tendency to look for more balanced, functional products, with higher nutritional values, with less fat and a proper carbohydrate balance,” he said. This tendency motivates the company to develop creative ideas through its research and development groups. CPIngredientes is constantly searching for new products or for specific products developed for its clients.
“We sell 80 percent of our production in the beverages and food industries, big breweries, food companies and industrial bakeries,” said Gutierrez.
In addition to the food and beverage industries, corn-derived ingredients are also used in other industrial segments, paper and corrugated, the textile industry and pharmaceuticals laboratories.
In 2004, and following this tendency of healthier ingredients, CPIngredientes invested in manufacturing technology for crystalline sorbitol, a reduced-calorie sweetener that has been used for over 50 years, and considered safe.
Sorbitol is a hexahydric alcohol soluble in water and ethanol, obtained by means of corn dextrose hydrogenation. It is 40 percent less sweet than saccharose and provides one-third less calories. It is also non-carcogenic and can be used by diabetics because of its slow and independent insulin metabolism. It can be obtained in different purity degrees for multiple applications such as production of surfactants and emulsifying agents, in the synthesis of vitamin C, and alkyd resins. It is also used in personal care products, from toothpaste to skin cream as well as pharmaceutical products such as tablets, syrups, capsules, and mainly in sugar-free food products. Additional uses include ink, tobacco, leather products, and the paper and textile industry.
“The chemical technology was developed internally by Corn Products, supported by the company’s research and development group based in Brazil, and manufactured with Italian and Mexican equipment,” said Gutierrez.
CPIngredientes also manufactures glucose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrins, caramel color, dextrins, adhesives and modified starches. These ingredients are obtained by means of different enzymatic hydrolysis of corn starch, such as dextrose and glucose syrups, or high fructose corn syrups, which requires a subsequent isomerization process. Used as sweeteners or bulking agents, to lengthen the shelf life of products, as stabilizers or carriers, these ingredients can be used in the production of hard or soft candies, milk candies, canned food and marmalades, beverages, ice cream, bread and cookies, jellies, custards, honeys, salads, pickles, pharmaceutical syrups, adhesives, tobacco, and construction materials.
CPIngredientes also manufactures corn oil, a viable alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Oil-linoleic acid, one of the two essential acids for growth and skin, and phytosterols and polyunsaturated fats, which can aid in lowering high blood pressure, are also found in corn oil.
Gutierrez also showed excitement regarding the recent merge with GTC Nutrition, an international producer of short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) and other ingredients for nutritional products, by Corn Products International. “These products are in perfect synergy with our already successful ingredients, and will allow a diverse number of options in formulating end products,” said Gutierrez.
GTC ingredients are sold under the trade names NutraFlorar, CalciLifeT, Acquamin, Naturealr, Xylitol, and FortiFeedr, and can be added to the same type of products for clients CPIngredientes already serve.
A prebiotic natural fiber, Nutraflora helps in the absorption of calcium, and stimulates growth and activity of good colon bacteria such as bifidobacteria. Prebiotics are short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) produced from sucrose on a commercial scale using an enzymatic process, and added to some functional food products such as dairy, baby food, or supplements.
Aquamin is a natural source of calcium, of sea vegetal origin while CalciLife is a source of calcium with an added prebiotic. Xylitol is a natural polyol 5-carbon sugar alcohol derived from corn, well known for being safe in foods and for its neutral sweet flavor. Xylitol provides the same sweetness of sugar with 40 percent fewer calories, and it can improve tooth and inner ear health by inhibiting S. mutans bacteria to stick to teeth, and reducing production of streptococci in the oral cavity and throat.
Natureal is a concentrate oat bran fiber, rich in protein and beta-glucan, a water soluble fiber that swells and becomes viscous. It has been shown that beta-glucan is beneficial in reducing fat absorption, and the risk of heart disease by helping decrease LDL or bad cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Several of these products are now used in Mexico, and supported by an advertising campaign and more than 250 scientific studies, 50 of which were conducted in humans.
“At CPIngredientes we take pride of the fact that we manufacture a great variety of products at competitive prices, with the highest quality, always anticipating the changing needs of the market,” said Gutierrez.
WHERE AND WHAT
CPIngredientes’ corporate headquarters are located in Guadalajara, the second largest city of the country, and three plants are in Guadalajara, Jalisco, San Juan del R¡o, Queretaro, and Tlanelpantla, in Mexico state. The company hires approximately 1,200 employees.
Guadalajara plant operations started in 1925; it produces most lines of CPIngredientes’ products. It is the only plant in Mexico producing sorbitol and crystalline dextrose. Para¡so is also the supplier for oil extraction.
The San Juan del R¡o plant was built at the beginning of the 1980s, and increased installed capacity in 1996. This plant produces HFCS with the most recent technology.
Tlalnepantla stands in Mexico City suburbs and produces a variety of starches and sweeteners for central and south Mexico. It also manufactures caramel color and modified starches.
“We market 90 percent of our production locally, and 10 percent for exports to Central America and the Caribbean,” said Gutierrez. With exports reaching more than 25 countries and a local leadership close to 70 percent of market participation, CPIngredientes insists on offering the best alternatives in innovation and service, constantly focusing in the development of new product lines.
“Our parent company has set goals related to cooperating with government, health professionals, consumers and industry in campaigning for better health, producing an array of products derived from corn. CPIngredientes’ mission is to generate material, intellectual and human wealth, with the best choices for our customers,” Gutierrez concluded.