DSM began on a programme of CEP approvals more than ten years ago. The CEP is regarded as a guarantee of purity of active ingredients and analytics applied, and is recognized in many non-European countries, as well as within the bloc.
The traditional vitamin market is mature, and as cheaper products from Asia have come onto the market suppliers have moved to differentiate their offerings. For instance DSM has introduced vegetarian versions of some of its products. Its biggest competitor, BASF, has gone the same route, rolling out a range of products intended to be suitable for all market tastes by being vegetarian, allergen-free, kosher certified, halal certified, and GMO-, BHT-, dioxin-, and gluten-free.
DSM has given special attention to developing and acquiring new nutritional ingredients that are not squeezed by such intense pressure, such as Teavigo green tea extract and Lafti probiotic, which fall under its Food Specialties unit.
But the CEP news - as well as recent price increases and restructuring in the last two years following the acquisition of Roche - indicates that it remains loyal to vitamins as a fundamental part of its business. The company says that for the majority of its vitamins, such as vitamins A and E, it is the sole supplier owning CEPS.
Mauricio Adade, president of human nutrition and health at DSM Nutritional Products, pointed out some advantages for the company's customers.
"CEPs are more than a quality certificate as they save time and resources for our customers," he said. "By avoiding submitting the whole quality part for the active substance covered by CEPs, the time-to-market is shortened resulting in cost savings of differentiated high quality products in the market".