There are times when it’s all in the name. Al Ghurair Resources may be in the business of agricultural commodities – but its own ‘resourcefulness’ is perhaps the company’s most valuable commodity of all. Over four decades, the Resources division of Al Ghurair Investment has never stood still; always researching, experimenting, developing; coming up with new processes and products that add value for its customers and boost its own bottom line.
The latest innovations consist of two highly-specialized products that most outside the realm of agricultural commodities and botanical science will never have heard of – Lecithin and Super Degumming. Yet both are highly sought across various industry sectors and Al Ghurair Resources was first to develop them in the Middle East.
Lecithin is a complex naturally-occurring mixture of Phospholipids that can be obtained by physical processes involving Soybeans, Sunflower and Canola/Rape Seeds. Or to simplify, it is a byproduct found in meal. Separating it realizes a higher commercial value for that byproduct – but separation is a difficult process.
The Lecithin composition comprises not just the Phospholipids but also glycolipids, sterols, carbohydrates, pigments, oil, moisture, cellulose and others. The end product is a natural vegetable emulsifier that can be used in bread, chocolate, cereal bars and other confectionery, as well as animal feed.
Apart from the Foods Sector, Lecithin is highly valued by the Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics and Chemical industries. In Dietetics it is used in the production of capsules, tablets and granules, while in Pharmaceuticals it is used in cholesterol control products, antibiotics and emulsified medicines. In the Chemical industry it is an ingredient in paints, inks, plastic and latex, while Cosmetics manufacturers use it in creams, shampoo and makeup.
To produce Lecithin, a new facility was set up by Al Ghurair Resources, which imported state-of-the-art equipment from Germany, the United Kingdom and Argentina. But the ‘know-how’ came 100% in-house from the Resources Division and its ‘bank’ of painstaking research. The new section, located in Al Ghurair Resources – Oil & Proteins, produces all different kinds of Lecithins depending on client requirements.
As a result, Lecithin production is now in full swing. Al Ghurair Resources is not just the only local producer within the UAE; it was the first manufacturer in the MENA Region, supplanting Europe and India as the nearest supply sources for Middle East customers.
A contract has just been signed to supply 50 tons of Lecithin a month to Arabian Farms Development Company Ltd (SAHA Dubai Eggs) and soon exports will begin to Oman. A spokesman for the Resources Division said Lecithin Production was a great achievement for Al Ghurair Resources.
Equally challenging but rewarding was Super Degumming. It is a process developed by Al Ghurair Resources’ production team in response to demands from its buyers in the Edible Oils market. The process – eliminating impurities from crude vegetable oils – helps them to reduce refining costs to such an extent that Super Degumming has quickly become a commercial requirement. Al Ghurair Resources sells the product to China and India among others, becoming a significant player in the market and the only one in the Middle East.
Lecithin and Super Degumming may be tongue-twisters. But, put simply, they are yet two more examples of how Al Ghurair Resources researches, develops and brings to market specialized products and services for the benefit of its customers in the Gulf, Middle East and far beyond. As the agricultural commodities arm of parent group Al Ghurair Investment, it has demonstrated over 40 years and more that innovation is the name of the game….and a byword for Al Ghurair Resources!