The hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP) operations represent less than 10 per cent of business at DSM Food Specialities, that overall pulled in sales of €762 million last year.
In the Dutch firm's portfolio for over 10 years, "HVP have always been an odd item in our product range because they are not based on our core technology," a spokesperson for DSM Food Specialities tells FoodNavigator.comtoday.
Yeast extracts and yeast extract based processed flavours are our key activities, he adds.
Shrugging off the HVP activities, based at Zaandam, north of Amsterdam, will bring room to focus on the yeast extract business.
The market for yeast extract based flavour enhancers has been growing in parallel to the waning popularity of HVPs.
Food makers are increasingly moving away from including HVPs in their formulations and towards yeast extract flavour enhancers, driven by concerns that acid-hydrolysed HVP, produced using hydrochloric acid, could be potentially carcinogenic due to the 3-MCPD levels.
Reporting on 2004 figures last month, DSM said sales at its food speciality unit - that sells dairy, savoury, beverage and nutritional ingredients - had risen by about 10 per cent.
Among the highlights were stronger volume sales of special yeast extracts.
Overall, food ingredients at DSM brought about 17 per cent of sales to the group's €7.75 billion turnover that includes pharma and antibiotic products, a rise of five cent per cent on the 12 per cent contribution in 2003.
Terms of the divestment were not disclosed but Oterap announced intentions to market the newly acquired HVP activities under the Exter brand.