The latest distribution agreement between Merck and Azelis will see the latter, a leader in specialty chemicals and food additives distribution, take on the marketing rights for Merk’s Candurin pearl effect pigments for the food industry across Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Under the agreement, signed on 1 July, Azelis will look after local customer support and applications technology, while Merck provides support in R&D, training and regulation.

Rainer Hoffmann, responsible for pigments and cosmetics sales, Merck, northern Europe, said: "Food industry customers in Benelux appreciate the high quality of locally manufactured products – take for instance, the excellent reputation of Belgian chocolates worldwide. According to these customers, a product should not only taste good, but be aesthetically pleasing as well."

Earlier this year, Merck granted the marketing rights for its cosmetic raw materials across Scandinavian nations to Azelis.