The remnants of the Zechstein Sea lie beneath Veendam, 2000 meters below the surface. A primeval sea full of minerals and salts that dried up millions of years ago and laid untouched in the soil… until 1972. Researchers encountered a remnant of the primeval sea and found a rare, bischofite salt layer. The salt layer appears to contain unusually pure magnesium salt. Because of this high purity the applications of Nedmag’s magnesium salt are endless.
Alex Medendorp, who has been working as Sales & Marketing Director at Nedmag since 2012, says: ¨We are a relatively small company of 150 people, so there are short lines which is the strength of the company. We are originally an industrial company, even a mining company. Why? Because there is a very pure layer of magnesium salt in the soil here. This magnesium salt layer is unique in the world. At that time it was decided to extract magnesium salt from this layer and see which products can be made from them. First, we mainly focused on industrial products. This is how the company has grown.¨
Entry into food
¨About fifteen years ago we entered the food industry with our product calcium chloride. Since then we have learned a lot about the food industry¨, says Medendorp
For example, Nedmag’s calcium chloride is an additive in cheese production during curdling, in beer production for (re)mineralization and in canned fruit and vegetable to preserve its structure.
Alex Medendorp: ¨We want to be innovative, that’s why we are now a member of IFFI. We are investigating the use of magnesium chloride in the food industry. What can we do with it in this sector? That has been quite a long way. The market appears to be quite small and yet we entered it three years ago. We have hired people with the assignment ‘Make cheese, bread, etc. using magnesium chloride and see what it does’.¨
¨We are now scaling up and have discovered what the value of magnesium chloride in food is. One of the main advantages of magnesium chloride in food are health benefits. The amount of sodium salt in products such as bread, can be reduced by adding magnesium chloride. This benefits healthier consumption In addition, 70% of people in the world are deficient in magnesium in the body. Combining the two together is of course great.¨
The market for the use of magnesium chloride as a food ingredient appears to be larger than initially expected. Medendorp: ¨For example, we have discovered that the taste of products with the addition of magnesium chloride is identical to that of salt and sometimes even better. As long as you don’t replace it entirely. Think of a 30 to 50% replacement. It’s something we could never have imagined before. To give you an idea, we can now use magnesium chloride for bread and meat, among other things. For us – unlike many other companies – magnesium chloride is a core product, the basis of our existence.¨
Dynamic and exchange
In short, it is no surprise that Nedmag is now a member of IFFI. Alex Medendorp: ¨I have already experienced an event. It was very interactive. The people are very involved. We are looking for these dynamics and exchanges at IFFI and expect to get it. Contacts with companies, gaining ideas, et cetera, it’s all part of it. Especially if you want to innovate and grow as a company.¨
|Nedmag has two locations in the north of the Netherlands: a mining location where we extract high quality magnesium salt (magnesium chloride) and a production site where the production of Dead Burned Magnesia (DBM), calcium chloride, and magnesium hydroxide takes place.|