Fiberstar invests to meet orange pulp ingredient demand

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Dietary fiber

The orange pulp ingredient firm Fiberstar has spun off its R&D division into a new business, and announced a $12m investment in a new manufacturing plant in Brazil.

The moves, according to CEO Dale Lindquist, will enable the firm to more aggressively promote its Citri-Fi and Imulsi-Fi ingredients worldwide as demand is expected to pick up.

Citri-Fi, derived from orange pulp, is said to allow food manufacturers to cut up to half of the fat in their products, while also acting as a moisture management tool. Imulsi-Fi targets cosmetics, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications as a thickener and emulsion stabilizer.

As of August 1, 2010, Fiberstar’s R&D business unit and its IP portfolio were spun off into Fiberstar Bio-Ingredient Technologies. Fiberstar received shares of Fiberstar Bio, as well as an exclusive worldwide license to produce and sell Citri-Fi and Imulsi-Fi.

More demand – more capacity

According to the company, demand for its Citri-Fi products has seen double-digit growth in global markets, and the new organization will help Fiberstar to focus on promoting global sales of the ingredient. It currently sells its products in 54 countries through a global network of 7 domestic brokers and 38 international distributors.

“Company revenues have been increasing at an annualized rate exceeding 40 percent with international sales currently accounting for 67percent of total revenue,” ​said the firm.

“Revenues are expected to grow at even faster rates during the next five years driven by two strong global market forces: consumer demand and competitive pressures for food companies to cut both the cost and caloric content of their food products.”

In order to meet this increase in demand, Fiberstar also announced the creation of a wholly-owned subsidiary in Brasil. Fiberstar Ingredientes do Brasil will allow the firm to secure $12m of equity and debt funding, said Lindquist.

This will be used to build a manufacturing plant in Brazil that is expected to triple Fiberstar’s production capacity for its Citri-Fi and Imulsi-Fi products.


Citri-Fi was first introduced on the US market in 2004. The product, a fiber derived from orange pulp and used in powder form, claims to have four primary functionalities: Moisture management, fat replacement, use as a strengthening agent and use as a processing aid.

According to Fiberstar, what distinguishes the ingredient is the way in which it binds with water. The product claims to hold up to 13 times its weight in water, and allows for a stable water retention.

The key is in the process used to develop the material, which opens up the cellular structure of citrus pulp to create an open porous fiber matrix. The resulting product contains around 70 percent dietary fiber, half of which is soluble and half insoluble.

When added to moisture in the form of water or oil, the insoluble fibers act as a net to put surface tension on the water or oil and hold these within the fibrous matrix.

In addition, because the ingredient binds so tightly with water, it is also said to act as an effective fat replacer without changing the taste, texture or volume of a product. One part Citri-Fi and 7 parts water claim to replace between 25 and 50 percent of oil or shortening in a wide range of food products.

Related topics Formulation & Science