Just-food has learnt that the Holland Sweetener Company (HSC) intends to withdraw from the aspartame business, terminating all business operations, because it is proving unprofitable. No attempt will be made to sell the business on.

A joint venture between the Netherlands’s Royal DSM and Japan’s Tosoh Corporation, HSC will terminate its activities at the end of 2006.

The company said that the aspartame markets are facing structural oversupply, which has caused worldwide price erosion over the last five years. This has resulted in a persistently unprofitable business position for HSC.

Annet Hoek, HSC spokesperson, told just-food that Royal DSM and Tosoh Corporation had not tried to sell the business unit.

“The plant is located in Europe, so any potential buyer would face the same costs as us. For this reason, selling the business was not an option,” she said.