A former head of nutrition health business at BASF in North and Central America, Michael Doyle will now run the manufacturer's operations in the North America. The company has been strengthening its position in the US and last year expanded with new North American headquarters following acquisitions this side of the Atlantic and a trend towards all-natural products. "The market is moving into all natural products, and people are willing to pay more for them," Udi Alroy, vice president of global marketing and sales, told NutraIngredients-USA.com. The maker of naturally-sourced carotenoids and vitamin premixes predicts growth for this type of products in the future. The US - opting for less-expensive chemically sourced supplements or fortification - has not traditionally been drawn to so-called 'natural products' to the same extent as Europe, but this is slowly changing. "We are moving more manufacturing into the US, where we are growing in double digits yearly," said Alroy. "By the end of 2007, we will be positioned as the largest manufacturer of carotenoids in the US." After the former US president of the company left, LycoRed said it looked for someone with experience managing a large manufacturing organization because of the exponential growth rate of its own manufacturing operations in the US. The company has traditionally supplied in Europe, but the development of its US onshore production capacity is near completion for carotenoids. "This year we are providing the full range of our carotenoid products in the US," said Alroy. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that have been linked to reducing a range of diseases from cancer, to cardiovascular disease, to diabetes. Studies have found carotenoids reduce oxidative stress in the body and aid immune system response. And because carotenoids such as LycoRed's proprietary whole tomato extract Lyc-o-mato are increasingly used as natural food colorants, the supplier is prepared for further growth. The New Jersey facility and headquarters allows LycoRed a quicker response time for US carotenoid ingredient orders. LycoRed's beadlet technology is used to stabilize sensitive ingredients, such as carotenoids and vitamin D, protecting them from oxidation. Triturations provide uniform distribution of trace nutrients that have very low Recommended Daily Allowances. "I look forward to further developing LycoRed's strong position in the nutritional industry, as well as in the cosmeceuticals category where LycoRed has a leading position in the European market," said Doyle. "We intend to develop this segment in the US with exciting new products that will be adjusted to the American consumers' demand." According to Alroy, the company's present supply of carotenoids for the US cosmeceuticals market is just the tip of the iceberg, and numerous formulations with their ingredients will come to market in 2008. Over the course of the year, LycoRed's US operation has grown from office space in Fairfield, New Jersey to the new administrative, research and manufacturing facilities. The company already strengthened its position in the European premix market with the 2003 purchase of premix firm Nutriblend, who brought with it a host of large premix clients. The company also acquired Israeli microencapsulation specialist Biodar in 1998, and in 2005 paved the way for its US operations with the purchase of ingredients supplier Buckton Scott Nutrition.