Ingredion, Westchester, Ill., announced that it has been named to the 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), marking its sixth consecutive year on the list. The company is one of 484 companies across 45 countries and regions to join the GEI, a modified market capitalization-weighted index developed to gauge the performance of public companies dedicated to reporting gender-related data. This reference index measures gender equality across five pillars: leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, and external brand. “Being included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for six consecutive years is incredibly rewarding and underscores our commitment and focus on creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace,” said Jim Zallie, Ingredion’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Building a diverse team and fostering an inclusive culture is an important driver of our growth culture that is focused on being customer preferred by enabling consumer-preferred innovation for shared value creation.”

Bartek Ingredients, Ontario, announced its plans to strengthen its position as the world’s largest producer of malic and food-grade fumaric acid with the groundbreaking of its $175 million malic and fumaric acid production facility. The company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 12 with Canadian government officials and local community leaders to celebrate the official commencement of the construction project. “We are thrilled to be breaking ground on our new facility which will set a new global benchmark for safety, efficiency, and environmental performance,” said John Burrows, president and CEO of Bartek, in a statement. “We are pleased to be investing in the community of Stoney Creek and proud to play an integral part in supporting local industries and the local economy. We are thankful for our partnerships with the provincial and federal government and Environment Hamilton and their support and guidance throughout the process.”

Pharmactive Biotech Products, Madrid, Spain, unveiled its KWD+, a high-performance extract of kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa). KWD+ has natural capabilities found to promote protein digestion, the company says. The company is positioning the ingredient across three health demographics: sports enthusiasts, the elderly and vegans. “KWD+ can be beneficial for several classes of populations,” said Jean-Marie Raymond, CEO for Pharmactive, in a statement. “In the sports nutrition arena, KWD+ could be instrumental in promoting a better harnessing of proteins among sport professionals and highly active adults.” Beyond its ability to improve protein digestion, kiwi fruit also is believed to help gut function, gently improving motility while preventing discomforts during digestion, such as bloating or even pain, the company notes. This is due to the inhibitory action of Aktinnamics on pro-inflammatory mediators, such as TNF-α, it says. KWD+ merges into the full range of galenic formulations including soft gels, syrups and powders and can be integrated into food and beverage applications. Pharmactive recommends a daily dose of 300 mg for general daily maintenance of digestive well-being and 600 mg before a heavy meal. KWD is doping-free certified and also carries kosher and halal certifications.

River Falls, Wis.-based Fiberstar Inc. announced the launch of a new line of organic citrus fibers: Citri-Fi 400 series. These new citrus fibers are in response to the increasing demand for natural, sustainable and organic food ingredients, the company says. “We are thrilled to add these new organic citrus fibers to our portfolio,” said John Haen, president and CEO of Fiberstar, in a statement. “This organic product line extension taps into a new market which will garner additional sales growth for Fiberstar.” Like the flagship Citri-Fi 100 series, this new Citri-Fi 400 organic series is a byproduct of the citrus juicing process, the company notes. The fibrous composition of insoluble and soluble fiber, in the form of intact native pectin, provides water holding and emulsification properties with a pleasant mouthfeel, it says. Because of the dual functionality, at less than 1% usage rate, Citri-Fi 400 improves the texture, stability and nutrition of a variety of food and beverages, it adds. Citri-Fi 400 is USDA certified organic and certified as an organic source by the European Union. This upcycled organic citrus fiber series is non-GMO, non-allergenic and gluten free. Labeling options include citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour.