The ingredient is widely used in the beverage industry, but is also used in cosmetic and personal care applications as a natural-based foaming agent, emulsifier and color emulsion, properties that give it wide spread applications as well as tapping into the still growing demand for natural ingredients.
Naturex acquired the Chile Botanics business one year ago, a move that allowed it to tap into the business’s quillaia processing capabilities thanks to its production facility in Linares, Central Chile.
Now the expansion of the facility has been inaugurated, Naturex says the move is part of its ambitions to conquer new and emerging markets through the development of quillaia as a highly sustainable ingredient source.
Ten-fold production increase
Naturex claims that following the expansion of the Linares facility, the factory has now been totally rebuilt and offers extended production and manufacturing capabilities.
That expansion includes the doubling of local employees, which the company says was necessary to keep up and maintain the heightened production volumes.
Although the expansion has focused on the processing of Quillaia, the company says that it’s future plans will involve the broadening of production into a range of other botanicals.
“We have strong ambitions in Chile and Latin America,” said Olivier Rigaud, Naturex CEO. “After the acquisition of Chile Botanics, it seemed natural to invest in this factory in order to be able to answer the need for natural ingredients in the Latin America region and better respond to worldwide demand.”
Quillaia saponaria is and ever green tree that is also known as the soap bark tree and grows in the temperate climate of Central Chile, in the vicinity of Naturex’s Lineas production facility.
It has traditionally been used as a soap substitute, as once it is reduced to powder form it can be activated to lather up using water thanks to the presence of a natural foaming agent, glucoside saponin.
Likewise, scents derived from the tree are also used in a variety of cosmetics and fragrances.