Amano Enzyme establishes European hub: ‘We are looking to close the gap between plant-based dairy alternatives and real milk’

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Amano Enzyme’s new European hub at Milton Park in the UK / Pic: Amano Enzyme
Amano Enzyme’s new European hub at Milton Park in the UK / Pic: Amano Enzyme

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Amano Enzyme, a Japanese-headquartered enzyme producer, is opening a European hub to ramp up its capabilities in the region and accelerate growth. We hear from Kazumi Washisaka, Managing Director at Amano Enzyme Europe Limited, to learn more about the move.

Speciality enzyme manufacturer Amano Enzyme is opening a new Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) hub at Milton Park, a science, technology and business community in Oxfordshire, UK. The Japanese biotechnology company - which uses its enzymes to boost the flavour, texture, colour, digestion and nutritional profiles of food products – will occupy an office and laboratory space at the site. Amano’s new premises at Milton Park will oversee all operations across its EMEA sites, the company revealed.

“Milton Park offers the space to house our modern laboratory in close proximity to Reading University’s Food and Nutritional Sciences hub, making it the ideal location for Amano’s new EMEA base,”​ explained Kazumi Washisaka, Managing Director at Amano Enzyme Europe Limited.

He told FoodNavigator that the new facility builds on Amano Enzyme’s existing presence in the country and the decision to further invest in UK capabilities was not impacted by Brexit. “The UK has served us well since we established our facility here in 1983. It was a natural decision to continue expanding in the UK to better service our various European markets.”

A ‘strategic focus’ on plant-based

The new laboratory facility will aloe Amano Enzyme to further expand into strategic focus areas, such as plant-based food and drinks, the company said. “Our new laboratory will allow us to continue exploring new innovative solutions in non-dairy beverages and other plant-based foods,”​ Washisaka told FoodNavigator. “While we can’t share specific details of our customers’ projects, we can say that we are working on some exciting new R&D projects in the plant-based protein and sustainability categories.

“We are seeing continued growth in plant-based applications especially non-dairy beverages. We are looking to close the gap between plant-based dairy alternatives and real milk with our portfolio of innovative enzymes. So in addition to the stability issues like curdling in coffee and poor foaming, we are looking to help our customers overcome these issues at higher protein levels so that their plant based beverages truly mirrors milk from a nutritional and performance profile.”

The group’s investment in regional R&D capacity is expected to help it step-up growth in the EMEA region, the MD added. “While we have had R&D capabilities in this region since 1983, the additional equipment and new personnel we expect to bring on board will enable us to provide a broader spectrum of research services, tailored to our customers projects and provide quicker turnaround. With our new space and state of the art equipment, along with the increased demand we have been seeing from our customers, we plan on doubling resources across all functions in the coming years.”

Founded in 1899, Amano Enzyme has subsidiaries in the USA, Europe, and Asia. The investment will also increase the enzyme innovator’s internal collaboration, he continued. “Our new hub will enable us to have greater collaboration between the UK and US offices in terms of research capabilities. We will be launching a major recruitment drive for R&D, sales and customer service positions, and anticipate doubling our workforce at the park.”

The move to Milton Park coincides with the company’s 30th anniversary in the UK, while 2023 marks its 40th anniversary in Europe.

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