Danish biotech Biosyntia and Munich-based Wacker Group have announced the signing of a contract to develop a large-scale production process for fermentation-based biotin. The partnership aims to make the product available a sustainable, non-chemical, European-sourced alternative.
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is a coenzyme for the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) attributes seven health claims to the ingredient. For example, it contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system and macronutrient metabolisms as well as to the maintenance of normal skin and hair.
The ingredient has applications in food & beverages, infant nutrition, nutraceuticals, pet food, animal feed, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Demand for biotin, which is also used as a dietary supplement, is rising sharply, according to a recent study which predicts growth of around 10% per year in the coming years. The biotin currently available on the market is produced from non-renewable petrochemicals.
The companies aim to develop a large-scale biotin production process based on sustainable fermentation. The companies are dedicating R&D resources in a multi-year programme to on Biosyntia’s biotin technology. Only plant-based raw materials will be used in fermentative production.
"Demand for more natural products is increasing – and with it the need for companies to use ingredients that are sustainable. Producing active ingredients from advanced fermentation is the future of production," said Martin Plambech, CEO of Biosyntia.
"With fermentation-based biotin, we want to offer customers a non-chemical, sustainable alternative that is produced in Europe," said Susanne Leonhartsberger, President of Wacker Biosolutions, Wacker's life science division.
The Danish biotech company has a proprietary microbial technology platform, on which it is building a growing pipeline of active ingredients for the beauty and nutrition industries. Wacker has significant experience in biotechnological process development and industrial-scale fermentation to the partnership. The company also brings expertise in the requirements and regulations of the food and nutraceutical industry.