News | August 23, 2001

Opta Food Ingredients, Inc. and Shimizu Chemical Corporation Renew Exclusive Supply and Distribution Agreement

Source: Opta Food Ingredients, Inc.

Opta Food Ingredients, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTS - news) has announced the renewal of an exclusive supply and distribution agreement with Shimizu Chemical Corporation of Hiroshima, Japan to market konjac flour in North America. The agreement includes all konjac flour produced by Shimizu for use as food ingredients or in formulated foods.

``Shimizu's Propol® and Amophol® brands of konjac flour are the highest quality produced in the world today,'' said Arthur J. McEvily, president and chief executive officer of Opta Food Ingredients, Inc. ``We are pleased to represent Shimizu in North America and view konjac flour as an integral part of our Ingredient Systems growth strategy. Our recent success with a multinational manufacturer of veggie burgers has increased our confidence in the development of future sales opportunities.''

``Opta has made significant progress in growing the market for konjac flour in the United States by developing unique and novel applications for these highly functional ingredients. We have formed a strong and lasting relationship that has grown since the inception of our initial agreement,'' said Yoshi Shimizu, chief executive officer of Shimizu Chemical Corporation.

Opta Food Ingredients, Inc. is a leading innovator, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary food ingredients that improve the nutritional content, healthfulness, texture and taste of its customers' food products. Opta's food ingredients are used by more than 350 food companies, including twelve of the twenty largest U.S. consumer packaged food companies and three of the world's largest quick-service restaurant chains.

Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations. Factors which could cause actual results to differ from such expectations are discussed in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including Reports on form 10-K and form 10-Q) and include the size and timing of significant orders, as well as deferral of orders, over which the Company has no control; the extended product testing and launch cycles of the Company's potential customers; the variation of the Company's sales cycles from customer to customer; increased competition posed by food ingredient manufacturers; changes in pricing policies by the Company or its competitors; possible delays in securing production equipment and retrofitting production facilities and processes; the Company's success in expanding its sales and marketing programs and its ability to gain increased market acceptance for its existing product lines; the Company's ability to timely develop and introduce new products in its pipeline at acceptable costs; the potential for significant quarterly variations in the mix of sales among the company's products; and general economic conditions.