The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company specializes in the extraction of flavors from fresh raw materials, which allows it to capture flavors at the optimal time. Its customers are flavor companies, R&D professionals in beverage companies, and manufacturers of consumer food products such as sauces, dressings and soups.
The new expansion is the third in Sensus’ 11-year history. President Daniel Wampler told FoodNavigator-USA.com that the latest evolution has been largely driven by customers asking the company to take on new steps in the production process, such as blending.
“I guess we’ve got good at processing technology. We have continued to add processing capabilities and a lot more opportunities came to us because we are very good problem solvers,” he said at the IFT trade show in Chicago.
He added that taking on new production steps allows for the continued investment in the company. “We are equipment hogs, we love to buy new gear,” he said.
The $3m earmarked for new gear this time will be spent on automated blending and bulk packaging equipment. The facility will also have an additional 35,000 square feet of manufacturing space bolted on, and 5000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space to keep the raw materials fresh.
All this will triple its current capacity to an input of up to 90,000lb of raw material per hour – and create 15 new jobs. Ten of these will be for personnel on the extraction side and five will be technical staff.
The new capacity is expected to be up and running by the end of September.
Sensus’ extraction approach is based around maximizing flavor quality while minimizing the loss of flavor during processing from factors such as evaporation, heat, post-harvest physical degradation.
It operated a vertically integrated sourcing approach. Wampler explained that the company always tried to be close to the farmer, but it does like to be at one step removed and have “someone in the country that knows the products and has a high degree of plant husbandry”.
This allows it to ensure harvesting happens at the point of optimum maturity and that quality and safety guidelines are followed. The tomatoes and herbs are from California, teas from Kenya, Indonesia and China, coffee from Central America, and botanicals from Africa.
The flavor recovery technology uses the Single Pass Extraction approach.