BRAIN is an industrial biotech company which discovers and develops novel bioactive compounds and proprietary enzymes for partners and customers in the food, feed, pharma and cosmetics sectors.
Another collaboration between DSM and BRAIN was announced in 2009 in the field of enzyme systems and strain development for fermentative production of specialty chemicals. Building on this relationship, the new project aims at solutions for the food and feed sectors.
Dr Martin Langer, corporate development at BRAIN, told NutraIngredients.com that the 2-to 3-year research phase will involve identifying different microbial production strains able to produce the vitamins, and optimising them. Developing the industrial production process will take more time.
Dr Langer could not reveal the vitamins being targeted by the partners, but some are understood to be vitamins that DSM Nutritional Products does not currently offer in soluble form. Others are already in DSM’s portfolio, but the researchers will aim at reducing the production costs to yield better margins.
Water soluble vitamins are B complex vitamins and vitamin C.
DSM will be actively involved it the research phase, with a team of scientists working on the project from its facility in Germany, close to the Swiss border.
“By cooperating with BRAIN, DSM Nutritional Products will gain extensive access to the comprehensive technological platform of BRAIN for water soluble vitamin production and extends DSM resources in this competitive sector,” said Dr Hans-Peter Hohmann, principal scientist at DSM Nutritional Products.
Dr Langer added that it is important for chemical companies like DSM to invest in new technology, as commodity chemicals yield smaller and smaller margins, partly due to rising oil prices and partly competition with emerging Asian chemical companies.
The new DSM-BRAIN project has received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).