Danisco positive over cultures role in results

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Danisco Probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus

The strength of Danisco Cultures is reflected in the company's
financial report for the first nine months of 2006/7, in which the
division helped drive organic growth for both Bioingredients and
its overarching Ingredients sector.

Bioingredients, which comprises cultures and Danisco's Genencor enzymes business, saw sales of DKK1.282 bn (c €172m) during the nine-month period - 39 per cent of revenue for Ingredients as a whole. Both the cultures and enzyme product areas were said to contribute to the six per cent organic growth achieved, compared to five per cent for the prior year period. EBIT for Bioingredient for the year to day was DKK585m (€78.5m), compared to DKK462m (€62m) at the same stage of 2005/6. New research on its Howaru Dophilus culture is flagged as one of the two main areas of innovation for Danisco as a whole in the Q3 reporting period (the other is the launch of its Primafast Luna range for the textile biofinishing market). The culture (Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM) backed by scientific documentation on its benefits for gut health as well as long-term stability, has also recently been seen to have an analgesic effect in the gut equivalent to morphine. The results of the investigation in this area, reported in Nature Medicine by researchers from INSERM, the University of Lille and Danisco, have been patented by the company. It is expected that they could open up a new realm of applications for the strain - one of Danisco's flagships. ​The company has said it is already in discussions with potential partners in the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and food industries over its use in commercial products. ​Danisco global cultures division screens the strains in its portfolio in order to pin point the best strain for a particular use. The company has an impressive bank consisting of more than 10,000 potential strains kept in a carefully controlled environment - and is continues to source new ones. While not all of these are active, they are continuously screened for their properties and potential for mutations. This task has become much easier now that Danisco is able to use genome sequencing to obtain the fingerprint of a strain, which enables it to screen for functional properties such as texture, flavour, health benefits, and the probability of being able to produce it on an industrial scale. In October 2006 Danisco introduced Howaru Restore, intended to aid gut flora recovery after a course of antibiotics, and since the end of the third quarter (January 31) Howaru Protect, specifically targeted to reducing cold and 'flu symptoms. ​ In addition to probiotic cultures aimed at human health, Danisco's store of strains also includes dairy cultures, meat-ripening cultures and protective cultures. On a geographical basis, cultures were also said to be paying a positive role in almost all markets in which Danisco is active. In Europe the division was said to be one of the three strongest growth components at product level - along with food and feed enzymes and functional systems; in North America Bio Ingreidents constituted the strongest growth component year-to-date; and in Latin America growth was said to be particularly strong within cultures and flavours - as well as food and feed enzymes. Only in Asia Pacific were Cultures said to have experienced "challenging market conditions"​ within food safety products. Nonetheless, in an interview with NutraIngredients.com last August, Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, president of Danisco Cultures, identified Asia Pacific and Latin America as two emerging markets that are key to the overall growth story.

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