With headquarters in Israel, the company says a heightened presence in the US will allow food manufacturers to audit their operations more easily, at the same time as allowing Gadot to help formulators tailor their premixes for a variety of foods. The bulk of Gadot's business has been in the US and, in particular - on the nutraceutical side - for the supply of raw ingredients to the dietary supplement industry. But like many manufacturers, the company is gearing itself for a move into supplying functional foods. "US clients can now come to us for premixes and the services that go with it," Gadot VP business development and marketing, Ronny Hacham, told NutraIngredient-USA. In May, the minerals manufacturer acquired Florida-based Pharmline Holding, giving it access to expertise in the processing and marketing of ingredients and premixes destined for the North American market. "As the food industry becomes more and more sophisticated and uses more functional ingredients, it needs to incorporate them in the food without affecting its composition," said Hacham. And given the size of this market in the US, many new players are entering the scene to take part in the growth of functional opportunities. In a recent report, Global Industry Analysts said the US functional food and beverage market is the largest single domestic market for the category, with an estimated $29bn in sales in 2007. The latest development in the company's shift towards US functional foods, has been the hiring of Antony Hand as president of Gadot Bio-Chem USA. Hand will be responsible for service to the functional food industry in North America. "He will be contributing to the planning and execution of Gadot's strategy for the North American market," said Hacham. Gadot is planning to steer Pharmline capacity for the supplying the dietary supplement segment towards the functional foods market. "These actions will help expand the company's competitive edge in the functional foods market, and will shorten time-to-market while offering next-generation healthy ingredients," said Hacham. The company will also be increasing its production of citric acid and sodium citrates due to the plant it is currently building in China. Gadot, which claims to be the largest supplier of calcium to American orange juice producers, has a significant share of the global mineral salts market, an area that has given it added value as revenue from its initial core product - citric acid - declines. But as Chinese competition in the minerals business increases, the company revealed that it was to protect its strong growth momentum by offering additional nutritional ingredients.