Tate & Lyle recently announced the signing of a North American licensing agreement with Alleggra Foods Limited, the producer of a full-function egg replacement product that is soy-based. Under the agreement, Tate & Lyle has the rights to manufacture, distribute and market Alleggra in North America, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Alleggra Foods Limited is backed by Unilever Ventures and by Tate & Lyle PLC.Securing this licensing agreement is terrific news for Tate & Lyle in terms of diversifying our North American ingredients portfolio and offering our customers more choice, said Tom Doxsie, Vice President of Food Ingredients, Tate & Lyle. Alleggra interacts well with many other Tate & Lyle ingredients which means we will be able to tailor specific ingredient solutions for our customers. Alleggra is a great-tasting product with superb functional benefits and we look forward to building its success in North America."Alleggra is a soy-based, healthy alternative to liquid and powdered eggs. As a formulated egg product, Alleggra has a higher protein content, 24% less total fat and 75% less saturated fat than a conventional hens egg. Also, Alleggra has 19% fewer calories than a conventional hens egg. Moreover, in some applications such as scrambled egg mixtures and omelets, Alleggra contains sufficient soy protein to allow for product claims approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Soy Protein and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease (21 CFR 101.82)Alleggra can be used for a variety of sweet and savory product applications, including: baked goods (such as muffins, cookies, cakes, pancakes and waffles), dressings and sauces, as well as pastas, noodles and soups. Alleggra complements other ingredients extremely well in food systems, including seasonings, spices, vegetables, mushrooms and meats.Alleggra is user-friendly offering a range of benefits in handling, processing and storage, including its performance strengths in freeze-thaw and microwave applications. It retains its physical properties better than liquid egg, and may be reheated without compromising texture or flavor. Additionally, Alleggra functions extremely well as a direct egg substitute in scrambled eggs, omelets, quiches and even custards.Alleggra reduces risks associated with salmonella in shell eggs, and does not need refrigeration that is generally required with processed eggs. As a result, there is an increased shelf-life associated with the product and significantly fewer occurrences of spoilage when compared to processed eggs and egg products. It also offers significant savings in storage space and is easier to transport than conventional eggs.With these benefits in health, convenience and functional performance, typical customers include food producers and food service providers such as schools, hospitals and the armed forces. Available in food service and bulk industrial packaging, Alleggra is supplied as a dry mix.Alleggra was launched in the UK in October 2004 and has been very positively received by industrial ingredient users and food service customers, including the UK Ministry of Defence. Tate & Lyle is excited to launch Alleggra in the U.S. and North America and Alleggra will be available as of April 2005.