Greenville Home to Brazil’s Ioto
Greenville, NC (April 14, 2011) - While Brazil has been in numerous headlines lately, one Brazilian company has quietly operated in Pitt County for over two years.
Ioto International, founded in 1999 in Campo Magro, Brazil, began as a developer and manufacturer of tobacco flavorings and casings. They also have divisions specializing in reconstituted tobacco and nanomaterials. The company expanded in Greenville, NC in February 2008. Called Ioto USA, LLC, this location is the U.S. headquarters for its reconstituted tobacco division.
Co-owner, Bianca Iodice, remarked, “I was surprised by how easy it is to do business here.” She also praised the amount of support from various sources, such as Pitt Community College (PCC) and the Pitt County Development Commission. “Brazil does not have such resources to attract and support industries.”
After a major renovation of the former R.A. Jeffreys Distributing building, Ioto operates in the 37,200 square foot facility with 25 employees. The company serves customers throughout the U.S. and Canada and demand continues to increase, according to Iodice.
The owners, Bianca Iodice and Gilson Luiz Torrens, combined the first two letters of each of their last names to create the company name Ioto. They also combined their experience in the tobacco industry to create patent-pending processes and products. Iodice, a chemical engineer, worked for over 16 years with British American Tobacco in R&D for flavorings and casings. Torrens, a chemist, worked for Philip Morris for 15 years in R&D for flavorings.
Reconstituted tobacco is recycled tobacco byproduct that can be reused by the tobacco industry. The byproduct, mostly tobacco dust, is shipped to Ioto from tobacco companies and processed through steps of grinding, mixing with a Food Grade binder, pressing, drying and cutting. It is then shipped back to the customer to be used as filler for various tobacco products.
At the time of their expansion, there were no other companies supplying reconstituted tobacco in the U.S. The Greenville location was chosen to serve major customers, several less than 30 minutes away, more efficiently.
Training for new employees has been an unexpected asset to the company. Through the Customized Training Program, PCC has provided free training in safety, forklift, welding, and other skills. They also designed operational training for the company. “Pitt Community College has been more than helpful,” Iodice said.
The nanomaterials division is also slated to move to the Greenville location. Ioto’s nanomaterials are designed to add strength to plastics products. Nanomaterials for polymer reinforcement have recently received significant research interest for their remarkable properties, and following this trend, Ioto International developed a new, patent-pending nanomaterial, NovaclayTM. The company is also in the final phase of developing two other types of nanomaterials. This division will move to Greenville permanently if market testing goes well.
For more information about Ioto International and Ioto USA, LLC, contact:
1997 North Greene Street
Greenville, NC 27835• USA
Phone: ++1 252 413-7343