18 Sep 2018 --- Vaessen-Schoemaker has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Agersol Sp. z o.o. (Agersol). Katowice area-based, Agersol is a Polish producer of innovative, functional ingredients for meat applications and predominantly focuses on the production of alginate-gel based casings. Vaessen-Schoemaker has established itself in ingredient functionality. The business is continuously looking to bring innovations to the food processing industry, adding new and optimizing existing features for protein (red meat, poultry, vegetarian and seafood), bakery and convenience applications.
Agersol has a strong presence in Central Eastern Europe and North-America.
Through the acquisition, Vaessen-Schoemaker adds a highly innovative alginate (casings) technology to its portfolio of functional ingredients for meat, vegetarian, seafood and bakery application segments and is able to better serve its customers who are active in these markets.
With over 70 of years experience in the field of functional solutions, casings activities have been an essential part of Vaessen-Schoemaker’s heritage. Its predecessors owned a large artificial casings processing company in The Netherlands and a natural casings factory in Portugal. With this heritage and the full support of the experts of Agersol, Vaessen-Schoemaker can further grow with innovative and high-quality casings solutions, according to the company.
Ad de Haas, Managing Director and owner of Vaessen-Schoemaker (pictured), states: “Alginate casing solutions are designed for sausage production using co-extrusion and are an alternative to other systems such as natural casings, collagen casings, and form the only existing basis for a purely vegetarian casing solution. With both the market for sausages as the market for vegetarian products showing strong growth, the potential is significant.”
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Coen van Oorschot, Commercial Director at Vaessen-Schoemaker explains: “We see an increasing demand for snacking and convenience products, also in the meat category. “Examples are for instance the highly popular meat sticks space, which can be perfectly produced with AgerGel alginate casing. Twisting and linking is important for good looking convenience products since it is important to have them well sealed and with a more appealing appearance.”
“The demand for meat and meat snacks remains large and is shifting towards smaller portions and snack sizes, according to van Oorschot. “However, we do see an increasing demand for vegetarian/flexitarian and therefore we are so delighted with the fact that with AgerGel we can offer a vegan (casing) solution. It works perfect for veggie sausages and snacks and therefore completes our portfolio for vegetarian concepts,” he notes.
“For Vaessen-Schoemaker, the acquisition means the company can better serve its customers and create additional possibilities in the vegetarian segment. For Agersol it means an expanded global reach and connection with our technologies,” Joris Hermans, Director of Business Development at Vaessen-Schoemaker states.
“Both companies have always been doing things differently and we will continue to do so. This will lead to differentiating concepts in innovation,” he adds.
Tomasz Wcislo, Director of Agersol also adds: “With the increasing demand for more convenience foods, our AgerGel has proven to be instrumental in meat snacks, with great appearance such as creating good-looking twisted and linked sausage ends and thereby outperforming other solutions.”
The transaction gives Vaessen-Schoemaker access to another differentiating technology platform and allows Agersol to utilize and benefit from the company's strong commercial European network. The complementary businesses are supported by a shared and common practice of; “thriving to be better every day.” Agersol will continue to operate as a stand-alone production company to keep the focus on the development of alginate-based casings.
Its predecessors owned a large artificial casings processing company in The Netherlands and a natural casings factory in Portugal. With this heritage and the full support of the experts of Agersol, Vaessen-Schoemaker can further grow with innovative and high-quality casings solutions.
“By coextrusion, a small layer of alginate gel is put around meat or vegetarian dough that will set when in contact with calcium. It allows for continuous sausage production and reduces spending on casings (of animal origin) of which the prices are highly volatile,” Hermans tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
With the newly acquired alginate and alginate-based casings capabilities, Vaessen-Schoemaker will be at the forefront of innovation in the global sausage and vegetarian industries, according to the company.
By Elizabeth Green
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