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BASF starts up own enzyme production


* Customers now receive all products and services from a single source

* Biotechnological production method

* New and improved enzymes being introduced

BASF manufactures enzyme supplements for poultry and pig feed at a production plant of its own at the company’s Ludwigshafen site. Operations started earlier this year.

“BASF now has exclusive rights to produce and sell the enzyme phy-tase under the trade name Natuphos® following the termination by mutual consent of an alliance between BASF and DSM in 2003,” said Dr. Andreas Henne, head of BASF’s Fine Chemicals Operations and Technology department.

The BASF-DSM alliance developed Natuphos® to market readiness. Joint research and marketing activities have made Natuphos® one of the top selling enzymes in the animal feed industry. BASF previously took over and integrated all activities formerly performed by DSM, including technological know-how, patents and joint development projects. “Independent production was the last step in effecting BASF’s separation from the former alliance partner DSM. Customers now receive all products and services from a single source,” Henne added.

Biotechnological production method

BASF manufactures Natuphos® by a resource-sparing biotechnological method called biocatalysis. The enzyme is produced with the aid of the mold Aspergillus niger. Demand has soared since the product was launched in 1994. Natuphos® is now the most successful enzyme in BASF’s Animal Nutrition segment and is used throughout the world. It is added to pig and poultry feed to enable these animals to digest and make better use of the vital nutrient phosphate, which is contained in plant-based animal feed. Supplementation with Natuphos® significantly lowers the quantity of inorganic phosphate that needs to be added to animal feed. This in turn lowers the amount of phosphate excretion, thereby lowering soil and water contamination by approximately one-third.

BASF’s growing enzyme portfolio

The new plant is also used in the manufacture of two modified and im-proved enzyme products developed to help animals metabolize poorly digestible or undigestible carbohydrates.
Natugrain® Wheat TS, a new-generation, high-purity, extremely heat resistant and highly effective xylanase, promotes the breakdown of ara-binoxylane. The latter is a structural component of all plant-based ani-mal feed, especially wheat. Launch activities began this year. The en-zyme beta-glucanase also underwent improvement. Marketing authori-zation applications are being filed and launch is scheduled for 2008. The product will be sold in combination with Natugrain® Wheat TS.

“BASF is a leading manufacturer of animal feed supplements by fer-mentation, also known as ‘White Biotechnology’. BASF also uses bio-catalysis to manufacture the amino acid lysine and Vitamin B2,“ said Joshua Rottenberg, head of Strategic Marketing of the Animal Nutrition business unit in the Fine Chemicals operating division. “The startup of the new plant and the simultaneous launch of modified and improved enzyme products demonstrates BASF’s commitment to animal nutri-tion.“

BASF is a leading supplier of animal feed supplements. In addition to enzymes, BASF markets a broad range of vitamins, amino acids, or-ganic acids, carotenoids, non-antibiotic growth enhancers and custom-ized premixes.


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