Isn’t it sweet — Dayton malt company expands

A company that makes natural sweeteners is expanding once again, bringing new jobs and investment to northwest Dayton.

Malt Products Corp. at 4744 Wolf Creek Pike is building a new multi-story addition to its already sizable facilities to house a dryer for a new powder sweetener product.

Malt Products in recent years has invested tens of millions of dollars in its Dayton operation and has committed to hiring at least 30 new workers related to the expansion projects.

“This allows us to produce more that we think will make a better quality product,” said Jim Hochberg, vice president of Malt Products. “And it allows us to be more flexible for our customers.”

RELATED: Malt Products to create 30 new jobs, retain payroll

Construction crews started construction this year on the new drying facility for Malt Products that is expected to be operational next year. The project is expected to cost nearly $12 million.

Malt Products constructed its original 60,000-square-foot Dayton facility in 1997, and then added a 30,000-square-foot warehouse in 2013.

Since then, the New Jersey-based company built a roughly $25 million, state-of-the-art processing facility so it can make extracts from multiple grain sources on site.

The company has invested in new offices, a lab and other equipment and technology to process and customize each product to each customer’s specification.

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Malt Products makes more than 200 products primarily for the baking industry, which are used in cookies, cakes, crackers, breads, pizza dough, cereals, pretzels and plenty of other snacks and consumer goods. Its products also are ingredients in beverages and pharmaceuticals.

The products provide flavor and color. They include malt extracts, corn sweeteners, honey, molasses and rice, tapioca, agave and invert syrups.

“I can make 10 different malt extracts and each one is going to be different,” Hochberg said.

Malt Products’ makes healthy, unrefined sugar, and malt extract has three to seven times the antioxidant power of fresh broccoli, the company said. According to the company, malt improves nut flavors, evens out chocolate flavors and masks bitter ones.

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Malt Products has the ability to produce up to about 50 million pounds of sweetener each year at its Dayton facility.

The new dryer facility will allow the company to make powder malt, which is easier to use but is more expensive, Hochberg said. Smaller bakeries and companies tend to prefer the convenience of the product, he said.

Malt Products’ investments correspond with industry trends in which customers are stocking less and want quick-turnaround orders as their supplies run short, Hochberg said.

“There’s other companies that do similar products to us, and they’ll tell you, ‘We can send it to you in three weeks,’” Hochberg said. “We’re the company who will send it to you tomorrow.”

According to city of Dayton records, Malt Products had 55 employees on Dec. 31, up from 46 a year earlier.

RELATED: Companies struggle to hire Dayton residents

The company committed to hiring at least 30 employees over the course of multiple years as part of an enterprise zone agreement. The agreement provides Malt Products with a property tax abatement on its property improvements for 10 years.

“We are very pleased that Malt Products is continuing to invest in their West Dayton facility,” said Ford Weber, Dayton’s director of economic development. “They provide good jobs and are an important part of our local economy.”

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