Malt Products Corporation Invests in Next-Generation Vacuum Belt Dryer

Malt Products Corporation Invests in Next-Generation Vacuum Belt Dryer


Part of $50 million investment, state-of-the-art belt dryer offers benefits over spray drying, including moisture evaporation at lower temps


Saddle Brook, NJ – Malt Products Corporation (MPC), a manufacturer of malted barley extract and other natural, nutritious sweeteners, has invested over $15 million in a new state-of-the-art drying plant, incorporating a vacuum belt dryer designed and built by drying technology expert Bucher Unipektin. The 58-foot-long machine has completed installation and validation, and is currently operating at the company’s Dayton, OH manufacturing facility.


MPC chose the vacuum belt dryer over a spray dryer because of its superior ability to produce free-flowing particulates of viscous sugar syrups, as well as retain flavor, aroma and color. Since vacuum belt drying operates by reducing the pressure in its chamber, moisture is evaporated from the product at far lower temperatures. This eliminates oxidation and prevents damage to critical functionalities of the original syrup.


Important to the drying of malted barley extract, vacuum belt drying utilizes a gentler process that protects unique-to-product characteristics not found in other sweeteners, including antioxidants, essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Vacuum belt drying also helps avoid burnt notes or other off-flavors and aromas typical with spray drying, and better controls the maillard reaction for a more consistent final product color.


Vacuum belt drying produces a powder that is highly soluble in cold liquids, making it preferable for malt beverages. The enhanced technology will allow MPC to manufacture products such as honey, agave and molasses that are difficult or impossible to dry on a spray dryer without additives.


The initiative also has an eye toward eco-consciousness: vacuum belt dryers use less energy and water than spray dryers, reducing environmental impact and aligning with MPC’s broader commitment to sustainability.


The new dryer is part of a five-year, $50 million investment by MPC, beginning with the 2015 expansion of its state-of-the-art brew house and addition of a Meura mash-filter, expanded laboratory, research and development and customer application capabilities. These investments are in response to increasing demand for non-GMO and natural, nutritious ingredients.


There has been a growing and renewed interest in MPC’s malted barley extract because of its unique flavor profile and recognition of its health-related benefits in the field of probiotics, plant-derived proteins, sports recovery and antioxidants. MPC’s malted barley extract is a multi-functional ingredient that acts as a natural humectant (moisture absorber), and enhances browning, fermentation, body and viscosity.


Malt Products Corporation also supplies a broad spectrum of healthy, natural sweeteners including molasses, oat extract, rice syrup, tapioca syrup, agave and honey.


“The new drying plant will continue our commitment to supply natural sweeteners which are minimally processed and environmentally sustainable”, said Amy Targan, President of MPC.

The Surprising Contributions of Malt Extract and Molasses to Pet Nutrition

Malt historically has been an attractive ingredient in pet food and animal feed for its whole grain derived nutritional contributions. Some of the more common associations with malt include:

Minerals: including calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc. Copper and seleni-um are integral as antioxidant enzyme co-factors which help shorten recovery in sporting and working dogs.

From malt extract, B Vitamins: (niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, nicotinic acid, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), biotin, and folic acid). Vitamins are primary cofactors in metabolism and formulating with vita-min containing ingredients helps aid energy production and utilization in animals that consume them.

Protein and amino acids: malt extract contains ~6% protein and free amino acids which are nutritional compo-nents required for building and maintaining muscle tissue. Physical exertion increases the need to rebuild and reinforce muscle fibers, and the presence of protein and amino acid helps in this regard.

Pallatability: Malt contains compounds that help improve the overall flavor profile of petoods and that can mask bitter tastes.


Malt Products Featured in Instore Magazine

With clean labels being all the rage among consumers these days, various retailers are rethinking their prepared foods ingredients list, and how best to tailor it for mass appeal. When it comes to using sweeteners for those that are made in-house, malt and molasses not only fit the bill for a clean label, but have significant nutritional benefits that can enable your product to boast an even healthier lifestyle than its branded and shipped counterparts.

“Malt used to be thought of only for its nutritional value, in products such as Ovaltine and Carnation Instant Milk,” says Jim Kappas, vice president of sales and marketing for Malt Products Corp. “Over the years, corn and cane sugar have been substituted because they are less expensive, so many Americans only think of malted milk shakes and malted milk ball candy as areas where malt can be used. Our main message is to consider adding malt for its nutritional value. On a gram-per-gram basis, malt has five times more antioxidant power than broccoli. It is also well established to help athletes recover after endurance exercise.”


Malt Products Featured in Meura Newsletter

Recently, Malt Products Corporation, located in the USA, entrusted Meura with the order for a new brewhouse of their new malt extract plant, the Malt Company of Ohio. Malt Products Corporation is a world leader in the field of malt extract production and has grown from a regional supplier of malts in 1957 to an international company at present.


Malt Products Featured in Baking and Snack Magazine

“Because malt extract is derived from whole grains, I like to call it a ‘nutritious sugar,’ ” said Jim Kappas, vice president, sales and marketing, Malt Products Corp. He compared its potential appeal to the whole grains message that has recently transformed the baking industry. Although used by bakers since ancient times, recent years have seen malt taken out of formulations for cost reduction purposes.

But as a source of fermentable carbohydrates and natural enzymes and colorants, it can restore artisan quality to foods, reduce oven times and enhance the chew and crust qualities of hearth breads. The nutritional benefits count as an extra.


Malt and the Production of Scotch, Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey and Bourbon

Many of you are well aware of our Black PearlTM Molasses products and are using them to create interesting and unique Rums.

What you may not know is that we also offer a full line of Malt Extracts; including Rye Malts, Wheat Malts and Corn Extracts. All of them offer a unique opportunity for Distillers to explore the production of Scotch, Whiskey, Canadian Whiskey and Bourbon without an investment in the equipment and expertise necessary to brew grains. Malt Products has that expertise.

We’ve been in business for over 60 years. Recently we updated and expanded our facility in Dayton, OH, building a State of the Art Brewhouse. We have invested in staff as well, bringing on-board brewers with a long history of experience.

The process of converting grains to fermentable sugars can be tricky. Grains vary from season to season. The techniques for converting Barley Malt to Malt Extract are not the same as those used when converting other grains such as Rye and Corn. This variability can result in inconsistent results as well as decreasing through-put.

Recently we have developed a “Corn Extract” concept. It is produced from 60% Corn and 40% Barley Malt, so it is appropriate for use in the production of Bourbon.

If you are comfortable with using Molasses in your Mash bill, using Extracts will be just as easy. Extracts are concentrated to the same solids content as Molasses, typically 80 degree Brix. They can be handled in much the same way as you do when you are batching Rum.

If you are interested, please contact us for specifications and samples.

Plant derived extracts and syrups may reduce chronic disease in pets

“Fido“ Nutrients: Plant derived extracts and syrups as a source of phytonutrients and other antioxidants which may reduce chronic disease in pets

This presentation will provide an overview of the antioxidant theory as it applies to chronic disease in pets, review past and new quantitative and qualitative data on antioxidants in natural syrups such as malt extracts and molasses, review the latest findings on the in-vitro and in-vivo antioxidant capacity of malt extract and molasses antioxidants, and provide a summary of the potential health effects of using unrefined natural syrups in pet food formulations as compared to other materials.

Summary of Key Points

(1) The prevalence of obesity and chronic disease is increasing in both pets and their owners. There is increased awareness that dietary phytonutrients and related compounds play a role in the prevention of chronic disease.

(2) Consumers are selecting grain free foods for their pets, however grains and other plant based ingredients are sources of phytonutrients.

(3) Unrefined syrups derived from grain and other plant sources, such as malt syrup and molasses, are rich in antioxidants such as phenolic acids and Maillard reaction products that provide protective benefits against reactive oxygen species (ROS).


There is growing interest in research investigating the role antioxidant phytonutrients and Maillard reaction products (MRP) have on the long term health of companion animals. Much of the research on antioxidant phytonutrients to date has focused on human health, however many of the concepts regarding their protective benefits might be applied to other species. Currently there is scant research focused on the health implications of phytonutrients on companion animals. Pet foods have been formulated to deliver nutrients required by the animal but it is becoming recognized by nutrition experts that the importance of “non-essential” phytonutrients and MRP may be greater than anticipated in the prevention of chronic diseases that are concerning to pet owners, such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Consumers have taken and interest in grain-free or low carbohydrate foods to address these issues. However, phytonutrients and MRP that may play a role in chronic disease prevention can be found in grains and other grain derived ingredient sources such as malt extracts and molasses. These materials may also have the potential to be used as replacements for synthetic antioxidants for the stabilization of lipids in pet food and feed, a potentially new idea.

Antioxidants are compounds that provide a protective function from damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals. ROS are thought responsible for initiating some chronic diseases by inflicting oxidative damage on cellular components. Because of the association of adiposity and increased oxidative stress, the increase in obesity among companion animals is concerning. Oxidative damage to cellular components may lead to chronic inflammation that manifests itself as cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurodegeneration.

Malt extract and other plant derived materials such as molasses possess meaningful quantities of bioavailable free phenolic compounds that provide protective benefits against reactive oxygen species (ROS). Malt extract has been shown to possess free phenolic levels three-fold higher than in the unmalted barley. Molasses possesses a diverse profile of phenolic compounds present in concentrations of 2.8-3.9 g/L, has been shown to prevent DNA oxidation, and to protect oxidatively stressed human HepG2 cells as effectively as α-tocopherol. Phenolic compounds present in malt increase antioxidant capacity both in vitro and in vivo models, and protected against biological macromolecule damage by free radicals. Kilning malt increases antioxidant capacity, possibly due to the development of MRP antioxidant compounds which are effective synergists with phenolic antioxidants. The conditions of the Maillard reaction will dictate the antioxidant capacity of the finished product, therefore the conditions in which these products are created needs to be understood in order to maximize the antioxidant potential of these products.
Presenter Biography

Jeff Casper is technical director and owner of Mill City Food Solutions, a consulting agency that specializes in grain based ingredient and food innovation. Casper holds a master in food science with an emphasis in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a bachelor in food science and technology from Iowa State University. Previously, Casper worked as R&D director at Cargill and R&D manager within Cargill joint venture Horizon Milling, where he led research in grain based ingredients, including research on phytochemical rich grain fractions in pet food and feed. He has presented at several AACCI annual meetings, been author or co-author on several peer reviewed journal articles, and recently co-authored the book “Gluten Free Baked Products” which was published by AACCI press in 2014. Casper has also served on the scientific advisory board of the Grains for Health Foundation is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS).