DSM’s outsource service sees demand grow

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Metabolism Fermentation Management

DSM’s outsource service sees demand grow
DSM BioSolutions has seen increased demand for its outsourcing services from the food industry, with a growing number of larger companies realising the benefits.

The Netherlands-based company offers services targeted at the food ingredients, nutraceutical, pharma and industrial markets, partnering its customers in process development and manufacturing.

The business unit came online in 2009 and services range from developing and optimizing microbial strains and fermentation protocols to large-scale contract manufacturing.

Since then Marco Oomen, global marketing and sales director, DSM BioSolutions, told FoodNavigator.com: “We see a clear demand increase from the food and nutraceutical industries in particular to work with outsourcing partners.

“Outsourcing to an experienced partner such as DSM helps to quickly deliver a product to market.”

He added: “A key benefit of outsourcing is that it helps to keep a tight control of costs.”

The company’s portfolio supports the development of food enzymes, peptides, metabolites, biocatalysts and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as flavours and fragrances.

Typically small and medium-sized food companies do not have access to a sufficient infrastructure for their ingredient and product development and have been more likely to outsource.

However, Oomen said that for large manufacturing companies, working with an outsourcing partner “provides a manufacturing source for their key ingredients while reducing their business and supply risk”.

He added: “Using the services of an outsourcing partner allows them to focus on their core competences, leaving the microbial fermentation process development and infrastructure to an experienced, reliable and sustainable company such as DSM.”

Cost conscious

Oomen said that optimizing microbial strains and fermentation protocols, which determine the conditions under which the micro-organisms produce the target product, are both ways of helping keep costs down.

With regard to fermentation protocols, there are many variables influencing the process, such as temperature, oxygen level, feeding strategy, mixing speed and substrate choice. DSM claims that it maximizes the output of a fermentor, ultimately leading to a lower cost of goods.

Similarly, Oomen said: “In order to have a low cost of goods, it is vital to have a microbial strain with high production levels, producing minimal impurities and delivering predictable behaviour in a large fermentation vessel.”

In a highly competitive market such as the food industry, speed-to-market is also key.

DSM BioSolutions claims that one way it addresses this is through its PlugBug platform technology, which offers a range of high producing, stable and scaleable micro-organisms.

Oomen said: “We typically scale up from the 10 litre lab-scale to 35,000 litre industrial scale in one single step. This really reduces the timeframe from the laboratory to large scale manufacturing.”

Meanwhile customers retain full ownership of the product and the related IP.

Quality control

Critics have argued that outsourcing production can increase the vulnerability of the food supply.

DSM underlines the importance of avoiding reputation-threatening contamination and cross-contamination with its Quality for Life seal of excellence, for quality, reliability, traceability and sustainability.

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