German-based AB Enzymes, which was already the 100 per cent owner of Gamma Chemie, believes that the move will increase the group's presence in the food enzymes sector.
Gamma Chemie enzymes are used in distilling, brewing-malting, fruit juice and wine.
These activities, which are already core to AB Enzymes' operations, will be handled from now on by the firm's Food and Specialities business unit.
"The integration of the two enzyme companies will enhance product offerings and services to all valued customers," said the company in a release.
The development will also allow AB to take advantage of the burgeoning enzyme market. World demand for enzymes is expected to rise 6.5 per cent annually to nearly $5.1 billion in 2009, according to market analyst Freedonia.
Historically, enzyme demand has been concentrated in the more developed economies due to the high value-added nature of enzymes, and the significant technical resources needed for their development, production and application.
However, countries such as China, India, South Korea and Taiwan, which have recently emerged as industrialised manufacturing centres with strong national research and development programs, will play a much larger role in the world market going forward and offer some of the best growth opportunities.
As a result, European companies are increasingly targeting the rapidly growing Chinese market. AB Enzymes for example is launching a new product to replace potassium bromate in time to cash in on an increased Asian demand for substitutes after the substance was banned in China last July.
The future of the European food enzymes market also remains positive, however. This market is expected to increase steadily at about 3.5 per cent, with revenues hitting about €240 million by 2011 according to Frost & Sullivan.
Further opportunities for growth in the food enzyme market, which continues to be dominated by Novozymes, Danisco, DSM, AB Enzymes and Chr Hansen, lie in developments, driven by biotechnology, that provide food and beverage makers with the right tools to meet consumer trends, claims market analysts Frost & Sullivan.