The newly formed Rousselot (Zhejiang) Gelatin company, located in Pingyang town, Wenzhou, has a production capacity of 3,000 tons acid hide and acid pig skin gelatin.
Gelatin, a translucent colourless substance, is created by prolonged boiling of animal skin, connective tissue or bones. It is most commonly used as a stabiliser, thickener, or texturiser in foods such as ice cream, jams and yoghurt and is also used to simulate the mouthfeel of fat.
While the market for non-gelatin products has grown in some western countries on the back of health concerns, Eastern demand for gelatin has rocketed. As China's diet becomes more westernised, its need for gelatin has grown, and currently imports great quantities of the ingredient from other countries.
It is this demand that Rousselot plans to exploit.
In fact this is the firm's fourth foray into the massive Chinese market. The firm, which claims to be the worlds second largest manufacturer of gelatin, entered the market in March 1996 with a first joint venture in Kaiping, called Rousselot (Guangdong) Gelatin.
The business then accelerated its expansion in China with the acquisition of Rousselot (Wenzhou) Gelatin in January 2004, and established Rousselot (Daan) Gelatin in April 2006.
Through these four plants, Rousselot now has a total production capacity of 16,000 tons in China, with an expected output of 20,000 tons in 2008.
The company said that by providing Chinese customers with safe, quality gelatins, it is well placed to achieve its ambition of being the leading gelatin producer in Asia Pacific within the next five years.
Part of the Netherlands-based VION Food Group, Rousselot is a manufacturer of gelatin and hydrolysed collagen to the food industry. It has a staff of 2,000 people and operates 10 plants in Europe, North America, South America and Asia.