Advanced Organic Materials’ (AOM) history is an interesting one. During its fifteen years of existence, AOM has not only grown in size as a company while quickly adapting to the ever-changing needs in the market, but they have also managed to diversify their portfolio and transform itself into a world-wide exporter of natural ingredients.
AOM brings together two worlds that are usually separated: the natural world and the technological world. The different kinds of organic ingredients they offer come from a complex process of extraction and purification where the main raw material is a by-product from the refining process of vegetable oils taken from sunflower, soybean and rapeseed. The result of this process is the production of organic ingredients that are later used in a wide array of products like desserts, moisturizing creams, healthy beverages, dietary supplements and animal food.
Commercial Director, Ezequiel Abad, likes to refer to AOM as a tech company because most of the machines used in the process were designed by their team of engineers. In other words, they are not generic industrial production machines that can be picked up anywhere.
“We started by making tocopherols from transgenic soybeans since it was the raw material that was more readily available and the most traditional way of obtaining tocopherols. With this type of product, AOM was able to accompany the transition towards the incorporation of natural antioxidants in several sectors that had historically used mostly synthetic antioxidants from the petrochemical industry”, says Abad.
The next natural step was to produce from non-genetically engineered sources to supply markets that were more sensitive to these particularities, mainly the European market. To do so, the company had to source raw materials from other geographical areas of the world, such as Brazil and India.
But as the market is in constant flux, AOM detected a trend in consumption towards what is now known as ‘clean label’ products. In line with a more conscientious approach towards the environment, the company was able to source both non-genetically modified and non-allergen seeds, leading to the release of the natural product SUN E. With this new ingredient, AOM was a pioneer in the use of sunflower seeds for the production of tocopherols and vitamin E.
Another watershed moment for AOM was their recent opening of the production plant in Valencia, Spain. Such an investment was necessary due to the exponential increase in sales volume and the strategic interest in being close to the countries from which they purchase their raw materials. All of the rapeseed, and a significant part of the sunflower seeds, is bought in Europe and the Mediterranean area.
They currently export their products all over the world. The biggest markets they sell to are North America and Europe, followed by Asia and Oceania.
“We sell to the markets that are well on their way in the transition from synthetic to natural ingredients; these places are where the consumers know more about the ingredients in the products they buy at the supermarket and are willing to pay more for a cleaner product”, explains Abad.
Regarding their upcoming plans, the company expects to add new products to their portfolio, as well as new formats for their existing products. According to the latest figures on sales of rapeseed-related products, it looks as if the future is promising since in the last four months they have sold the equivalent to the total amount they sold in all of 2020.