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Nestle project a boon for cassava growers

The P4.35-billion non-dairy coffee creamer project of Nestle S.A. in Batangas is seen boosting the local cassava industry.

Nestle Philippines Inc. is expected to locally source glucose syrup, one of the main ingredients of coffee creamer. The syrup is usually processed from corn or tapioca coming from cassava roots.

Nestle is putting up its Greenfield non-dairy coffee creamer production facility on a 270,000-square meter lot at the First Philippine Industrial Park in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

Nestle will process glucose syrup and hydrogenated palm kernel oil to produce non-dairy coffee creamer. Commercial operation is slated to begin in June 2012, with a manpower requirement of 478.personnel.

Data from the Department of Agriculture shows that demand for cassava is expected to be around 5 million metric tons this year, with projections rocketing to 10 million tons by 2014. Cassava is currently used in the production of livestock feeds, starch, noodles, native pastries and as sweeteners and food seasoning.

It is an ingredient in some medicinal products. It is also added material for glue, plywood, paper, textile and biodegradable products. It is an essential component for bioethanol power plants.

Cassava starch popularly known as tapioca flour has an even wider multitude of uses in various industries. Extracted from the root, it is used in food, medicine, paper, adhesives, mining, textile, mining, biodegradable and other manufacturing industries.

In the food sector, it is an excellent alternative for wheat flour in baked products and it is also employed as a thickener for soups, sauces, baby food and gravies. It is also utilized as a filler to complement the solid contents of ice cream and is a reliable binder for hotdogs, sausages and other processed meat products to minimize dryness while cooking it.

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