New enzyme promises higher yields to apple juice processors
The Danish enzymes specialist acquired Biocon’s enzyme business in October 2007 for $115m (c €83.4m), in order to make the most of synergies and increase its presence in the hi-tec Indian market.
It is now heralding Pectinex Ultra Mash as one of the first successes of this acquisition, since it was developed thanks to the combination of two fermentation technologies.
While Novozymes has previously offered mash enzymes to enable more juice to be generated from fruit pulp, the new version is said to increase yield to between 85 and 90 per cent, according to Novozymes global marketing manager for juice, Frederic Issenhuth.
The company said: “With apple supplies diminishing in some regions and with very variable prices for apple juice, juice producers are looking for new ways to maximize their raw materials.”
For example, in the United States the USApple, the trade association for the apple industry, reported last month that total holdings of processing apples were 39 million bushels this year, down 16 percent from 2007 and down 20 percent from the five-year average.
Novozymes is also claiming that the new enzyme allows for smoother processing. Apple juice is naturally cloudy – but consumers tend to prefer a clearer product.
The new enzyme is said to make depectinisation and filtering easier; lower turbidity at the mashing stage – that is, suspension of sediment – leads to fewer problems in clarification and filtration.
The result, for the juice processor, is increased plant efficiency.
At the time of the Biocon enzyme buy-out, Novozymes said the Indian firm’s application development and formulation capabilities would contribute to Novozyme's R&D strategy, not least because it will bring local knowledge to the table. Biocon also brought expertise in solid state fermentation technology.
Torben Vedel Borchert, director of protein optimisation art Novozymes, has drawn attention to the large number of skilled scientists in India who speak perfect English.
Last year he said that, in the long term, Biocon’s unit could be a natural bridge to Indian academic institutions and local biotech-companies specialised in protein optimisation and bioinformatics.