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Agropur buys U.S. functional food ingredient maker

Canadian dairy firm Agropur has extended its reach further into America’s Dairyland state by buying a major maker of proteins, stabilizers and other ingredients for food processing.

The Quebec-based dairy co-operative announced Wednesday it’s bought Main Street Ingredients of La Crosse, Wis., for an undisclosed sum.

Main Street bills itself as “the world’s leading developer of functional food ingredients to the dairy, nutritional and food industries” and also offers technical expertise, contract manufacturing services and private-label product manufacturing.

Its product lines include Keystone stabilizers, used to boost foods’ consistency, shelf life and other characteristics; Cornerstone proteins and protein isolates, made from whey, milk, soy, rice and wheat; Capstone dairy products, such as whole and skim milk replacers and flow agents used in powders; and Gemstone ingredients, such as whole egg replacers, non-fat dry milk substitutes and sugar alternatives.

“Main Street Ingredients is in direct line with our strategic plan and will allow us to develop that specific niche,” said Sylvain Melancon, Agropur’s vice-president of sales for cheese and functional products, who will oversee the company.

Main Street will continue under its own name and be led by the company’s current president, Bill Schmitz, who will report to Agropur’s Melancon.

Agropur’s other Wisconsin holdings include cheesemaker Trega Foods, which it bought in 2008. The co-operative noted earlier this year that its operations outside Canada now account for about a quarter of its revenues.

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