In the new year, beverage ingredient suppliers have a collection of announcements to share, including Citromax’s organic lemon groves reaching a substantial milestone, passing the 100,000-tree mark and approaching 110,000 organic lemon trees, it says. Additionally, Berner Food & Beverage LLC and AAK USA made new hires to their companies.

Citromax Group, Carlstadt, N.J., has announced that the company’s organic lemon groves have reached a substantial milestone, passing the 100,000-tree mark and approaching 110,000 organic lemon trees. This milestone validates Citromax’s standing as the largest organic lemon producer in the world, it says. “Citromax Group recognizes the increased global demand for organic fruit products, so we continue to invest in our organic groves,” said Mariano Sangronis, commercial manager and head of Citromax’s Fresh Division, in a statement. “As the world’s largest organic lemon grower and processor, we now produce over 1,000 [megatons] (MT) of high-quality organic lemon juice concentrate through sustainable production practices.”

Berner Food & Beverage LLC, Dakota, Ill., announced the addition of Jesse Higgins as director of warehouse operations. Higgins will oversee warehouse and logistics at two locations, including Berner’s newest warehouse distribution center in Winnebago County, Ill.

AAK USA Inc., a manufacturer of value-adding specialty vegetable fats and oils, recently announced the addition of several members to its Edison, N.J.-based team: William Troy as senior director of U.S. manufacturing operations; Randy Branch as senior marketing manager; and Jessica Madden as marketing analyst.

IFF, New York, and DuPont, Wilmington, Del., announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for the merger of IFF and DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences (N&B) business in a Reverse Morris Trust transaction. The deal values the combined company at $45.4 billion on an enterprise value basis, reflecting a value of $26.2 billion for the N&B business based on IFF’s share price as of Dec. 13, 2019. The combination of IFF and N&B creates a global leader in high-value ingredients and solutions for the global food and beverage, home and personal care, and health and wellness markets, the companies say.

Cargill, Minneapolis, and Renmatix, King of Prussia, Pa., have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to explore a novel approach for making functional food ingredients from unused plant materials. The two companies will use Renmatix’s Plantrose Process, which is a proprietary, water-based technology, and Cargill’s preferred feedstocks to make highly functional food ingredients, they say. As part of the JDA, Cargill also will contribute its deep food applications expertise and market access to further understand the technical and commercial potential of these new ingredients. The process will be tested at Renmatix’s facility in Kennesaw, Ga., and Cargill plans to market test the materials with Cargill customers globally.

Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Northbrook, Ill., began the sixth year of its Spark program, which highlights key trends that will lead the way to innovations within the flavor and fragrance industry. This year’s trends are Rare and Endangered, Evolution of Healthy, The Well-Traveled Kitchen, The Gatherer and Breaking Boundaries. Rare and Endangered addresses flavors that are rare and authentic, but with a sense of sustainability. Evolution of Healthy highlights how specific lifestyles affect wellness, the supply chain and environment. Meanwhile, The Well-Traveled Kitchen identifies flavors that support a rich exchange of ingredient and culinary techniques that is unseen anywhere else beyond their region. The Gatherer pinpoints the growing demand for fresh, micro-nutrient food that is harvested in a conscious manner. Lastly, Breaking Boundaries details how once illegal ingredients, such as cannabis, have evolved from medical to culinary.