The opening of a new $10 million food manufacturing plant in Murarrie, Queensland, by food ingredient company Earlee Products, will allow the separation of allergenic and non-allergenic food ingredients, addressing a growing need in the food industry for non-allergenic ingredients.
Officially opened in July by the Minister for State Development, Employment and Industrial Relations John Mickel, the plant will boost Queensland’s production of allergy-free food ingredients.
The company’s existing plant will be dedicated to non-allergenic ingredients, while the Murarrie plant will concentrate on mainstream production.
“No matter how conscientious we are, if non-allergenic and allergenic food production is carried out under the one roof, there will always be some level of risk of allergy-free products being contaminated,” Earlee Products’ managing director Bob Hamilton said.
“For this reason, we can only guarantee certification if non-allergenic products and sensitives have a dedicated production plant.”
The new facility will enable the company to increase production of its non-allergenic ingredients to around 50 tonnes per week.
“With so many Australians allergic to gluten, nuts and other allergens, we are confident our new plant will enable us to offer a 100% safe and tested means of producing allergy-free products,” Hamilton said.
“This approach is novel to the general food-ingredients sector in Australia, and I believe it will certainly help fill a void in the marketplace.”
With the additional new facility providing Earlee Products with almost four times as much space for its operations, while including facilities for wet and dry processing, and comprehensive pilot plant and product development laboratories, the company now plans to embark on an overseas push.
“The timing is right for us to push our success offshore, and we are looking forward to showing the world Queensland is at the forefront of food science and its commercial application,” Hamilton said.