CLAYPOOL, INDIANA, US — Louis Dreyfus Company Agricultural Industries LLC (LDC) announced on Aug. 3 the opening of its new soy liquid lecithin plant in Claypool, Indiana.

The company said it is the country’s largest facility integrating soybean processing, biodiesel production, and glycerin and lecithin refining operations, as well as a food-grade packaging line and canola oil distribution terminal.

According to LDC, the Claypool facility, which first began operations in 2007, has the capacity to crush 175,000 bushels of soybeans per day.

“This development is part of LDC’s strategic plans to diversify revenue streams through value-added products — in this case, by expanding our presence in the ingredients value chain and diversifying our food and feed solutions portfolio,” said Gordon Russell, US head of Grains & Oilseeds at LDC. “Lecithin is a natural extension of our existing operations in Claypool, where we have also increased our edible oils and refined glycerin origination and production capabilities.”

LDC said the new lecithin plant comprises best-in-class clarification, drying and degumming process technology.

“Thanks to rigorous controls at every stage of the production process, laboratory enhancements and ISO level 7 food grade packaging operations, our facility offers customers product quality assurance, as well as a range of packaging options in bulk trucks, totes and drums,” Russell said.

The facility will enable food manufacturers to obtain product attributes that customers increasingly desire for lecithin, a versatile emulsifier, dispersing agent, antioxidant and flavor enhancer that may be used in a variety of food applications.

In its 2021 annual earnings report, LDC noted that within its Value Chain Segment, the Grains & Oilseeds Platform delivered strong operating results.

“The strong core performance in soy, vegetable oils and grains was echoed in other product lines, including high biodiesel margins in the US and Europe, and supported by a valuable contribution from our ingredients businesses — both lecithin and refined glycerin,” said André Roth, head of Grains & Oilseeds.