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Fruit processor said to be building plant in Idaho

Carol Ryan Dumas

Capital Press

Fruit processor Zentis, with a strong partnership with the dairy industry, will build a 100,000 square foot plant in Idaho. Company officials have not yet returned phone calls, and the press release does not give a more specific location, but other factors point to southern Idaho and perhaps Twin Falls, where Chobani Greek yogurt opened its new 1 million square foot plant in December.

Zentis, a leading fruit processing company in the United States and Europe, plans to build a new manufacturing facility in the state of Idaho, according to a press release posted on businesswire.com.

But regional economic development officials said Thursday they no nothing about the proposed facilty.

The press release appears to be from Zentis, listing valid contact information for the company, but Capital Press has not yet been able to verify the information with company officials. Phone calls and email to those officials have not yet been returned.

The press release states the 100,000 square foot plant with more than 100 million pounds of production capacity will be fully operational in the summer of 2014.

The press release does not state the location of the plant, but a listing for a job opening with Zentis for a food scientist on www.FoodHACCP states the job will be located in Twin Falls, Idaho.

At the Southern Idaho Economic Development (SEIDO) annual summit in Twin Falls Thursday, SEIDO Executive Director Jan Rogers said an announcement on two large food companies coming to southern Idaho is imminent.

But she told Capital Press Zentis is not one of those companies.

Rogers said she has heard rumors of Zentis locating in Idaho for the last couple of months and has seen the press release, but no one from the state level down has any knowledge of the company building a plant in Idaho.

It’s just a mystery at this point, she said.

It’s highly unusual that a company would build such a large plant without anyone knowing about it. Companies are usually looking for economic incentives and have to obtain permits to build a plant, she said.

It could be happening, and the company could be partnering with another industry. But if it is happening, someone is keeping it really close to his vest, she said.

If Zentis did build a plant in Idaho, the assumption is it would be in southern Idaho because Zentis is a supplier to both Dannon in South Jordan, Utah, and Chobani in Twin Falls, she said.

Headquartered in Aachen, Germany, Zentis specializes in fruit preparations for the dairy, bakery and confectionary industries. Innovative developments for the dairy industry are a core competence of the company, such as the newest market introduction of stable chocolate and cereals for yogurt, the press release states.

The investment in the Idaho plant will allow Zentis to better serve its long-term dairy partners, who depend upon the company to help them grow with innovative products that continually delight their consumers, the release states.

As a partner to the dairy industry, Zentis embarked upon opening a new manufacturing plant in response to the continual growth of the yogurt category and the increased demand for customized, innovative fruit preparation solutions for new products, according to the press release.

The new plant will add to Zentis’ network of U.S. manufacturing operations in Gardena, Calif., Plymouth, Ind. and Philadelphia. The company employs more than 500 people in the U.S. Zentis also has plants in Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Russia, the release states.

For more information on Zentis, go to

www.zentis.com.



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