Key Interview: ADM Looks to Sway European Market With Non-GMO Options


24 May 2017 --- Food ingredient supplier Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) provides a portfolio of vegetarian options, including soy protein isolates, crisps, flours and concentrates as well as edible bean and pulse ingredients. Boosted demand for natural products and clarity with regards to the traceability of ingredients has fueled an increased need for naturally-sourced, non-GMO ingredients.

In response to these market demands, ADM “operates one of the world’s largest soy isoflavone facilities, producing the greatest variety of isoflavone supplement products sourced from both PCR Negative and identity-preserved non-GM soybean varieties.” 

Gerd Mueller, International Sales Director, Natural Health and Nutrition EMEAI, spoke to NutritionInsight at Vitafoods Europe, where the company showcased its latest nutrition concepts.

A notable development is that the company has moved toward non-genetically modified (non-GMO) products, used to create its Novatol sunflower vitamin E and Novasoy soy isoflavones, which can be used in a range of applications.

“ADM is the biggest producer of vitamin E and mixed tocopherols worldwide,” Mueller says. “For quite some years, we were out of the non-GMO market; we did not have any non-GMO Vitamin E and mixed tocopherols. We are just relaunching non-GMO IP [identity preservation] material for the European market. So we are back in that business.” 

“In the past, we only had GMO products, which have to be declared. Even if it’s PCR negative you have to declare it as GMO,” Mueller adds. “In essence, you can sell these products, but the issue is you have to market [them] as GMO on the packaging. So we decided to not be in this market because at the time it was pretty difficult to source non-GMO material and we did not go the route via PCR negative.”

Talking about how the company was able to switch to non-GMO for the European market, Mueller says the company “has now secured supply chain of non-GMO material. So we are in the position that we have a sustainable supply of non-GMO material,” adding that the company has internal and external sources.

ADM had in 2014 announced its plans “significantly expand its production capacity of non-GMO lecithin by expanding capacity at its soybean processing facility in Latur, India, and adding new rapeseed processing capabilities to its existing facility in Hamburg, Germany.” 

At the time, the company had already started offering non-GMO lecithin from its North American production, but the expansion plans would allow ADM to produce non-GMO lecithin locally for customers in Europe and Asia, according to a 2014 press release.

ADM’s non-GMO Onavita Flaxseed Oil has already been on the market since the middle of last year, and the company is mainly targeting the supplement market, according to Mueller. 

“We are the only company in the market which also has pharma grade, and it’s called 1490 European Drug Master File (EDMF),” with 1490 being the highest concentration, which can then be further diluted as needed.

Future Developments
In 2015, the company announced its “Commitment to no Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation,” and announced that it aimed to build “traceable and transparent agricultural supply chains that protect forests worldwide, with an initial focus on palm oil and soy.” 

ADM runs a certification program, named the ADM Responsible Soybean Standard, which aims to promote environmentally and socially responsible soy production. According to the company, this program is based on research and benchmark studies carried out on existing standards regarding soy production, such as Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) and International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC).

Click to EnlargeThere is a range of non-GMO finished products featuring ADM ingredients available in US and European markets, including an energy drink suitable for vegans made using ADM’s Clarisoy isolated soy proteins. Clarisoy is suitable for neutral pH beverages and low pH beverage with cloud systems.

This year, the company unveiled the latest addition to its extended omega 3 portfolio, Onavita DHA Algal Oil, a new 33% DHA produced from a US algae supply. The algal oil is suitable for dietary supplements and fortified food products and offers vegan and allergen-free labeling options. Onavita DHA algal oil is suitable for applications including traditional supplements, gel caps and gummies, toddler nutrition, beverages and dairy products.

“We have new preparation examples, some special preparations of gummies with Vitamin E and DHA omega. This is a nice application for this algae-based omega 3 oil ,” Mueller says. “Due to the fact that we have acquired WILD [Flavors and Specialty Ingredients], and [with this] as a new division, we are able to deliver nice recipes with natural colors and flavors which can mask unpleasant tastes. I think this is a perfect way to administer [omega 3] to kids and even adults who are sensitive to this smell.”

“We have launched these products in the US, but we have applied for registration [in the EU],” Mueller says, adding that the company’s next step will be securing approval for the sale and distribution of the range in the European market.

Growing demand for omega 3 products and rising calls for vegetarian options are creating market opportunities for companies offering a holistic portfolio of ingredient solutions. 

By Lucy Gunn & Robin Wyers

To contact our editorial team please email us at


PepsiCo expands presence in plant-based space with acquisition of Health Warrior brand 

01 Nov 2018 PepsiCo has acquired Health Warrior, a US-based ...


Clean label: Laboratoire PYC goes for transparency in supplements

10 Oct 2018 To meet the growing consumer demand for ...


Astaxanthin could help stave off sarcopenia in seniors

10 Oct 2018 A formulation containing AstaReal natural ...


DSM enters UK distribution partnership with Salutivia

10 Aug 2018 Salutivia has been appointed as the UK ...