Raw materials

Chicory root

A world pioneer in inulin extraction

In 1986, Belgian family company COSUCRA pioneered a world first production process with the extraction of inulin from chicory root to obtain a range of soluble dietary fibres. A raw material that, in the early days, was processed as a simple substitute to traditional sugar then became a source for a much more widespread and versatile ingredient, used for its positive effects on nutrition and health. Today, COSUCRA offers the benefits of chicory root all over the world in many food and dietary supplement products thanks to:

  • FIBRULINE™ chicory root fibre, inulin
  • FIBRULOSE™ chicory root fibre, oligofructose


Chicory, a sustainable raw material

At COSUCRA, we are deeply committed to protect our planet and our environment.
This begins with the choice of the raw materials we work with. 

Regenerative agriculture

Chicory is a sustainable raw material and has its place in environmentally friendly agronomic practices such as regenerative agriculture. This sustainable agricultural approach addresses climate change by improving soil health and soil fertility while guaranteeing water management and protecting biodiversity. This focuses on the protection and restoration of our Nature with gentle agronomical practices such as carbon sequestration, limited use of fossil-fuels based fertilizers and pesticides, and increased biodiversity to help farmland to be more resilient to extreme weather conditions and plant diseases. Chicory is an appropriate crop for regenerative agriculture thanks to:

  • Culture-diversification in a 6-year crop rotation cycle
  • Good agricultural practices with use of compost and manure
  • Optimal root system with no irrigation needed - chicory long taproot allowing to reach deep water
  • Low nitrogen fertilizers compared to other plants such as cereal, beet
  • Protection of pollinating insects


COSUCRA has a deep connection with its local agricultural and economic environment. We partner with more than 400 local farmers in an average supply radius of less than 60kms : three quarter in Belgium and one quarter in France.


From seeds designed by our integrated breeding department, through the agronomic support and the assistance in low tare harvest mechanization, COSUCRA developed an eco-system with local farmers in Belgium to increase yield of high-quality chicory roots, adapt to climate change, and contribute to the reduction of GHG. We select our partners thanks to specific criteria: mandatory rotation, good environmental practices, traceability and technical itinerary of the crop from seeding to harvest.

From field to the factory

We are constantly investing in more efficient equipment and improved supply chain practices between the farmers and the planta.

  • Reception: We pioneered by financing cleaning machines before loading, resulting in a decrease of the tare from 20 to 10%.
  • Transport: favouring direct transport to our chicory plant and equipment pooling to increase efficiency for the local farmer
  • Quality: control of chicory traceability

A gentle extraction process

After harvest, inulin is extracted from chicory root through a gentle hot water diffusion process, similar to the process used to extract sugar from beets. The first step consists in obtaining a liquid concentrate from the chicory root. This juice will then be refined into fibre in liquid or powder form.

Froom seeds to plant : CHICOLINE

COSUCRA understands the importance of growing different chicory varieties for the production of chicory root fibre. That’s why in the late 1980s a division dedicated to the selection of the best varieties of chicory was launched: CHICOLINE.

CHICOLINE selects the right chicory seeds quality based on the sector and offers a large range of varieties that meet farmer’s and industry’s needs. Thanks to GMO-free, natural crossbreeding, they develop chicory breeding and varieties adapted to our regions, soils and indirectly changing climates that have:

  • Higher inulin yield,
  • More resistance to diseases
  • An optimized shape for harvest
  • Improved industrial efficiency

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