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Corn syrup plant opens up in Lodi

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Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:00 pm

Towering stainless steel tanks on the edge of Lodi's wine country. It must be a new winery, right? Not quite.

Think something sweeter.

It's Archer Daniel Midland's new corn syrup terminal, poised to distribute dry and liquid sweetener throughout Northern California.

"In a lot of ways this is like a winery with a railyard," said Ian Poulin, the plant's project manager, following yesterday's ribbon cutting at the 15-acre site on North Guild Avenue and Victor Road.

Here's how the plant will work:

Rail cars carrying tons of syrup processed in the Midwest will arrive. They'll pull up next to the plant's "storage tank farm," using rail spurs from the Central California Traction Company's mainline.

The syrup will then be pumped into the tanks, where it will stay until an order is made, say, from Pepsi, General Mills or Jelly Belly, just a few of ADM's customers.

Dry sugar will arrive the same way, and be loaded into the plant's 50-foot steel silo, the site's tallest structure.

Eighteen truck trips will be generated each morning and afternoon to deliver the products, according to a 2006 traffic study estimate by Loomis-based KD Anderson and Associates, Inc.

Corn syrup is a natural sweetener derived from corn starch. It is used in numerous foods and drinks including cookies, crackers, ketchups, cereals, flavored yogurts, ice cream, preserved meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soups, beers, and others. It is also used to provide an acceptable taste to sealable envelopes, stamps, and aspirins. One derivative of corn syrup is high fructose corn syrup, which is as sweet as sugar but relatively cheap to produce. It is often used in soft drinks. Corn syrup is shipped and used as a thick liquid or it may be dried to form a crystalline powder.

Source: Answers.com

As part of its pledge to be "a good corporate citizen," ADM donated $10,000 to the Lodi Salvation Army at Tuesday's ribbon cutting.

"It's huge to get $10,000," Salvation Army Lt. Dan Williams said, holding an oversized billboard check. "Especially right now, with the economy. Donations have been down … It's a blessing."

The money will help fund the charity group's culinary class, which provides entry-level food training for men and women who have completed the charity's drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Six people graduated from the class April 30. A new class is set to start next month.

For more information about the class, contact the Lodi Salvation Army at (209) 367-9560.

- News-Sentinel staff

"It's a very simple process," Poulin said. "We unload the products. We load them as orders come in and ship them out."

Lodi planning commissioners unanimously approved the plant in April 2007. Construction started shortly after.

Ten employees will work there at first. Future expansion could add 30 new workers or more, depending on the market for sweeteners, Poulin said.

"With the population growth that we're having in the (Bay Area) and the Valley, the market is ever increasing," he added. "That's one of the reasons we located here."

Another is Lodi's proximity to rail and freeways, ADM officials noted during a windy late-morning luncheon at the site.

One of ADM's sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, has been the subject of concern in recent years by some experts who see it as a possible cause for obesity.

News reports show health experts are split over whether the product itself is a health risk compared with other sweeteners. Many believe that the higher concentrations of the sweetener, not the sweetener itself, is the problem.

ADM has defended its product saying the sweetener is a natural product, made of corn.

"We are very proud about (high fructose corn syrup) being a very economical, high quality product that will go into your foods," said Dennis Riddle, the company's vice president of corn processing, speaking at the luncheon.

Requests for ADM officials to expand upon the topic were not granted.

Numerous political and business leaders from throughout the region attended Tuesday's event.

Lodi Mayor JoAnne Mounce welcomed ADM to town, noting the company brings valuable jobs and revenue to the city.

"As the mayor of Lodi, I personally thank you for making Lodi just a little bit sweeter," she said.

Contact reporter Chris Nichols at chrisn@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 7:20 am on Fri, Jun 13, 2008.


    Shortage of corn expected.

  • posted at 4:44 pm on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    boonablis, I thought it was the jaw bone opening and closing that made people fat.

  • posted at 2:29 pm on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    ADM is one of the largest agricultural concerns in the U.S. with annual sales over 40 billion. I would be interested to know how they selected Lodi as a location for this facility. They obviously do their research before making capital commitments of this size. Knowing and focusing on their methodology may help us entice similar investments in our community.

  • posted at 8:45 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    sweet zoo-Get a friggin clue, this stuff hardens your arteries like a viagra pill.Way to piece sweetner products and corn syrup together, oh wait that makes no sense. Think before you type

  • posted at 7:17 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    Everyone acts like this is something new here. Sweetener Products as been doing the axact same thing in Lodi for over 10 years. Get over it.

  • posted at 4:37 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    I am always happy when profitable companies thrive in the community that I live in. However I would caution those who eat anything with high fructose corn syrup in it. High fructose corn syrup is in almost all processed foods especially soda. It is as bad for you as smoking and ADM knows this. Just remember back when the tobacco companies held the position that cigarettes where ok for you. Look at the ingedients beofre you buy!!! If high fructose corn syrup is one of the first five ingredients then pass. Your body will love you for it. If you don't believe me ask your doctor.

  • posted at 4:18 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.



  • posted at 3:21 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    is it just me or does that white tower in the picture look like it is falling over. maybe it was the winds yesterday.

  • posted at 2:57 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    Corn Syrup??? You all know that Partially Hydrated Corn Syrup this is the root of obesity in america, right? This is just what we need, bigger airplane seats, larger ambulances.We are so fat.

  • posted at 2:19 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    Glad to see more jobs come to Lodi but please use E-Verify so that it's choice of location is not pointless.

  • posted at 2:13 am on Wed, Jun 11, 2008.


    Good job Mayor and Council. We need to dispel this image that our community is not business friendly. This is a good step.



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