Evonik expands production capacity at Spanish probiotics factory

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Inside Evonik's probiotics production facility in León, Spain © Evonik
Inside Evonik's probiotics production facility in León, Spain © Evonik

Related tags Evonik probiotics swine Poultry Aquaculture

Evonik has modernized and expanded probiotics production at its site in León, Spain, and it says the upgrade lays the foundations for further growth in that business.

The capacity for producing probiotic products such as Ecobiol, Fecinor and GutCare has been more than doubled. The León site can now produce the equivalent of 6,000 metric tons of blended final probiotic product per year. A key development considering the stronger focus globally on probiotic-based alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters.

Evonik animal nutrition business line's portfolio of probiotics has been manufactured in León since 2016.

The German specialty chemicals company has developed and optimized the site continuously. In 2022, it invested in fermentation capacities, a new cooling circuit system and a new warehouse at the site, which became operational recently.

In addition to boosting production capacity, the new facilities and improved processes also ensure enhanced sustainability at the site, said Evonik. “Energy, fresh water and raw material use per product have been significantly reduced and, since January 2023, the site has been using electricity exclusively from renewable energy sources.”

The amount invested in the upgrade was not disclosed.

“With this expansion in León comes the ability to meet the growing demand for our probiotics. We will continue to demonstrate the impact of our solutions on the microbiome, gut function, and animal performance,” said Gaetano Blanda, head of Evonik’s Animal Nutrition business line.

While Evonik provides probiotics for poultry, pigs and farmed fish, its sees the greatest potential for such products in monogastric animals. 

Effervescent tablet

Its animal nutrition business line launched​ Ecobiol Fizz in 2020, terming it the first probiotic for chicken in effervescent tablet form; the product, which is designed to stabilize the intestinal microbiota of broilers and layers, especially during stressful periods, contains a microbial strain of the species Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and its application is via the animals' water supply.

The company said the probiotic supports productivity in the barn.

When asked whether Evonik would be launching a new animal nutition targeted probiotic product any time soon, a spokesperson told us: "We continuously develop products and services that help our customers become more efficient. We conduct R&D for microbiome-based solutions at our site in Künsebeck in Germany. A model specially developed by Evonik that replicates the processes of a chicken intestine helps us, for instance, to specifically address the modes of action of bacterial strains. We are also working in partnerships with other companies to expand our current portfolio to include other applications, such as phytogenics for animal gut health."

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