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Chr Hansen eyes pharma sector with €20m probiotic plant expansion

By Shane Starling , 19-Feb-2013

Chr Hansen eyes pharma sector with €20m probiotic plant expansion

Global probiotics leader Chr Hansen is throwing €20m at the expansion of its Danish freeze-drying capacity with increasing global pharma  and food supplement demand the key driver.

“We are turning the production facility in Roskilde, Denmark, into a dedicated production site for human health products, both to live up to pharma GMPs and to free capacity at our food culture production site in Avedoere/Copenhagen,” spokesperson Ulrik Raabjerg Soendergaard told us.

“Yes, the demand for probiotics with pharma GMP [good manufacturing practices] approval is increasing.”

The new facility is slated to open in the first half of 2014, will be fully pharma-grade compliant and, according to, Anders Gram, vice president in Human Health & Nutrition Operations at Chr Hansen, “will ease a supply problem.”

“Yes the European economy is not the strongest and there are the regulatory pressures with health claims but we have been at full capacity in this side of our business for some time and currently buy in 3% of the cultures we need from contract manufacturers,” he said.

“This is a major investment and we are glad to have made it in Europe.”

Gram would reveal no details about capacity volume or percentage increase but said it would not outsource any excess capacity.

In a statement, Henrik Dalboege, executive VP in the human health and nutrition division, added: “We started the construction work on the new freeze-drying plant just before Christmas and I am very pleased to see this project progressing as planned. It is an important element in sustaining the current and future growth of the Human Health & Nutrition Division and its contribution to the entire group.”

Market data

Euromonitor International estimates the overall global market will add about a third to hit €33.5bn in 2017, from €22bn in 2012.

The analyst predicts a slight dip in European sales in that period – from €5.13bn last year to about €5bn in 2017 – with North America, invigorated by the rise of Greek and functional yoghurt player Chobani, joining the likes of China, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and Japan in recording double digit growth.

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