Meade Potato Company has announced that it has entered the starch commodity market by extracting starch from surplus potatoes and potato processing by-products.
The extraction unit at the Meade Farm in Lobinstown, Co. Meath represents the only native food-grade starch being indigenously produced for food manufacturers in Ireland and the UK, the company said.
Year on year growth in the starch market is at 9% for the past six years due to its increased use in sustainable packaging, meat-free and sugar-free foodstuffs, it added.
Food Waste Reduction
The Irish potato grower and packer said that it believes their starch will appeal to food manufacturers as it is gluten-free and has a higher viscosity than corn starch.
The company said that it 'hopes that it will help to reduce food waste, add higher value to the national potato crop, increase import substitution, and create new export opportunities'.
The enterprise has added ten direct jobs to its staff of 350 at the farm and food production facility located in a rural area in the Boyne Valley, as well as 50 indirect jobs.
“Initiatives like this one that links innovation to sustainability are core to our family farm business; they tick all the boxes of filling a major gap in the market with a smart solution driven by the circular economy,” said Eleanor Meade, business operations manager.
“Since my father first started in the potato business over 40 years ago, we have been looking for new markets and trying to add higher value to the potato crop," she added.
The company said that it has already started to export to the UK and 'hopes to expand into other export markets in the next two years.'
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.