Nowadays a prominent part of the sugar extracted from sugar beet is refined to premium sugar specialities with added health properties. This is accomplished using chemical methods as well as biological processes. Microorganisms used for this purpose today often deliver heterogeneous products thus reducing the yield of the desired sugar speciality. In order to enable an improved production process it is planned to use selected highly efficient microorganisms. Further-more, novel products are envisioned through the allocation of specialised enzymes. The resulting products are expected to contribute to a functional and healthy nutrition.
In the course of the co-operation between the Zwingenberg-based biotech-company and Südzucker AG, the EU´s largest sugar producer, BRAIN will identify and develop microorganisms und biocatalysts within its proprietary BioArchives®, with properties suitable for biological processes in the production of sugar specialities. Optimised microbial biotransformation processes are intended to save energy and reduce laborious downstream product processing steps. The evolutionary diversity of enzymes and metabolic pathways additionally enables a biotechnological access to novel valuable lead candidates and is expected to contribute to a sustainable advancement of this market.
In recent years the speciality sector has become increasingly important within Südzucker AG . In the preceding financial year 2004/2005 this sector significantly contributed 1,3 billion € to the corporation`s annual turnover of 4,83 billion €. In the last financial year Südzucker AG invested 473 million € in the speciality sector. For the next years it is planned by Südzucker to continuously expand this important sector.
“By utilizing biocatalysts we want to improve industrial processes for the production of sugar specialities and functional food and at the same time make these processes more environmentally benign”, says Dr. Wolfgang Wach, Head of Biotechnology at Südzucker AG. “The cooperation with BRAIN AG complements and accelerates our own activities in this sector”.
”The identification and development of customised biocatalysts hallmarks the growing importance of white biotechnology for efficient production processes“, says Dr. Jürgen Eck member of the board and Head of Research at BRAIN AG. ”Our BioArchives harbour thousands of valuable synthetic routes. Through our EvoSolution® Technology platform we can identify biocatalysators and improve enzymes and processes. We are confident to be able to identify novel sustainable routes for the optimised production of sugar specialities using our proprietary tools”.
The current research project of BRAIN with SÜDZUCKER as like the running co-operations with CIBA (speciality chemistry), NUTRINOVA (nutraceuticals) and HENKEL (consumer goods) is another outstanding example for the importance of white biotechnology in the nutrition and speciality chemistry sectors.