ADM, Ardent, Bay State invest in gluten-free portfolios

The gluten-free category might be around awhile, judging by investments made by companies with large milling operations.

ADM’s acquisitions

Archer Daniels Midland Co., Chicago, in 2016 made two transactions related to gluten-free production. The company in February 2016 agreed to purchase a controlling stake in Harvest Innovations, Indianola, Iowa, which offers expeller-pressed soy proteins, oils and gluten-free ingredients. In September, ADM purchased the assets of Caterina Foods, Lake Bluff, Ill., a toll manufacturer of specialty gluten-free and high-protein pastas.

“The acquisition of both Harvest Innovations and Caterina Foods expanded ADM’s ingredient portfolio to provide formulators with a whole spectrum of gluten-free ingredients,” said Barry Nadler, president of Harvest Innovations for ADM.

The Gluten-Free Certification Organization certifies products from Harvest Innovations, he said. All the ingredients that Harvest Innovations produces are made from beans, legumes, ancient grains and other non-wheat products. They are available in grit, flour and fine powder forms.

Caterina Foods, previously a toll-mill for Harvest Innovations, has helped to grow ADM’s gluten-free pasta portfolio.

“The gluten-free market is still expanding and growing, but it’s maturing, so you don’t see the huge numbers in terms of year-over-year growth anymore,” Mr. Nadler said. “However, it is clear that the demand for gluten-free products will continue, and it’s not just a fad. Gluten-free is a lifestyle choice for many consumers, and we are continuing to see innovative new products in the bakery and pasta categories especially as formulators expand their capabilities around gluten-free applications.”

More blend and mix capabilities

Bay State Milling last year expanded its gluten-free capabilities at its facility in Bolingbrook, Ill. Adding blend and mix capabilities enhanced the facility’s existing ancient grain flour business within one dedicated production area. The ingredients are sold under the Bakers Elements and Gluten Free Essentials brand names to serve the wholesale bakery, manufacturing, distribution and food service industries.

Bay State Milling, based in Quincy, Mass., also produces gluten-free brown and white rice flours as well as ancient grain flours at its Woodland, Calif., location.

Domestic quinoa

Ardent Mills, Denver, is launching Great Plains Quinoa that will feature a quinoa growing network in North America. The program will bring the transparency, scale and quality needed to support the mainstream growth of quinoa with consumers, food manufacturers, bakeries, retailers and restaurants in the United States and Canada, Ardent Mills said.

“The quinoa market is often affected by South American supply challenges and spikes in pricing,” said Mike Veal, vice-president of marketing for Ardent Mills. “With all the unique aspects and certainty of this program, we are introducing locally grown quinoa under our new Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa brand. This will help clearly define our quinoa as grown in North America along with all the assurances that are available from Ardent Mills.”

The Great Plains Quinoa platform includes seeds, whole grain flour, flakes, crisps, custom multigrain blends and mixes.