A specialist in bio-fermentation, the Junan-based Fufeng Group operates several large-scale production facilities in Northern China. Evonik said the Chinese company counts as the world’s largest producer of starch-based food and feed ingredients had also has a strong record of manufacturing fermentative feed additives.
The move, said Evonik, means it can develop the market for ThreAMINO worldwide with a lean asset footprint.
“The new dynamics of the [amino acid market] demand new concepts. The consequence of combining Evonik's strengths in sales, services and technology with Fufeng's existing manufacturing expertise is value for our customers,” a spokesperson for the chemical group told us.
L-Threonine is an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce itself so farmed animals have to consume it as part of their feed. Evonik said an optimal L-threonine level improves feed intake, weight gain and the nutritional value of the feed.
In November 2013, Evonik increased production capacity for ThreAMINO at its production facility in Kaba in Hungary, bringing output of that amino acid to 30,000 metric tons annually.
The German chemical group says amino acids produced by fermentation are an important pillar of its product portfolio for sustainable animal nutrition; over the past few years, it has been focusing on ways to improve production process efficiency for its amino acid portfolio.
In late 2016, it announced the acquisition of the entire technology portfolio for the fermentative production of methionine, as well as patent and essential bacteria strains from the French group, Metex.
It paid out €45m for that technology; it said the acquisition would expand its leadership in both chemical and fermentation production of amino acids for “animal nutrition and beyond.”
Evonik’s amino acid portfolio was recently expanded to include a valine product called ValAMINO. That product, it said at its launch in June 2016, represents the fifth essential amino acid in its portfolio for use in pig and poultry feeds, and will help to reduce the use of crude protein in the diets of those animals, without any loss in terms of growth performance.
Evonik, in its last published financial results - its November 2017 released Q3 and first nine months quarterly report – said it anticipated lower average annual selling prices for essential amino acids for animal nutrition, following their previous high level, particularly at the start of 2016.