23 August 2013
KFSU Media Release
Commercial scale production of dietary fibre from sugarcane is set to get underway creating a new and healthy role for Australian sugarcane within the world food industry.
Following successful trials into the Australian and Japanese markets, the Federal Government has supported an expansion into commercial scale production with an investment of $1.8million through its Commercialisation Australia grant program.
KFSU Ltd Managing Director Gordon Edwards said over the coming months he would
commission a world first manufacturing plant that will produce 1,320,000 kilograms of dietary fibre per annum.
“We are extremely grateful for this support from Commercialisation Australia which signals confidence in the sugarcane industry, our process, and our ambition towards becoming a leader in the field of sugarcane diversification and healthy products from agricultural raw materials.”
Mr Edwards said that the sugarcane dietary fibre excited food technologists seven years ago when pioneering research and development revealed the potential to enhance baked goods, health and medical foods, snacks and small goods.
“This functional food ingredient originates from the fibrous component of sugarcane which has traditionally been burnt as boiler fuel in the sugar milling process.
“KFSU now has the ability to utilize 100% of the sugarcane plant as a food source.”
KFSU Ltd officially launched the dietary fibre product, Kfibre™, and opened a factory in Ayr in October of 2011, with a small-scale proof-of-concept line designed to fine-tune the product and test markets.
Strategically located in the Burdekin cane growing area of North Queensland, the factory has potential to supply into Australia, Japan, America and eventually China where there is
enormous demand for natural ingredients that have the potential to improve food products and the general human health.
“Traditionally sugarcane has produced only one export crop being sugar, which is highly
vulnerable to the vagaries of commodity pricing. This Kfibre™ product will help the industry to diversify and value add,” Mr Edwards said.
“For farmers, the product has a higher return than sugar, which has piqued interest from other cane growing regions,” he said.
“Consumers in developed countries are increasingly discerning, some obsessively so, about additives and allergens, which has created enormous demand within food manufacturing for natural alternatives to traditional wheat-based fibres.
“Our technology applies a unique chemical-free process which maintains the ‘all-natural’ quality and inherent goodness of sugarcane without the sugar.
“We have full traceability from the consumer back to the farmer which is desired by medical food manufacturers.
“When added to food the Kfibre™ powder is shown to lower the GI of the food, and exhibit
health benefits associated with dietary fibres such as improved bowel and gut health.
Mr Edwards said ongoing research would investigate further health benefits distinctive to
“Consumer response trials have demonstrated that the product from the proof- of-concept line has high acceptance at a retail level. With the assistance of the Federal Government grant KFSU has the capacity to commercialization the technology.”
KFSU would like to thank supporters and shareholders who have made this journey possible, in particular, the farmers and the Burdekin community.
For more information, please visit http://www.kfibre.com/