Ajinomoto announces new fermentation initiative to produce amino acids

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Ajinomoto announced today a new initiative to develop propriety fermentation technology for producing cystine and cysteine, amino acids important in a wide array of applications, including pharmaceuticals, flavorings, and cosmetics.

Ajinomoto's expansion in this marketplace will offer additional sourcing options for manufacturers, as it will make available cystine and cysteine that are produced by microbial fermentation of starches and/or sugars. The largest portion of the cystine and cysteine demand currently is met by producers who extract these amino acids from raw materials of animal origin.

"Our customers around the world are more and more sensitive to the nature and quality of raw materials used in food, pharma and cosmetic production," said Mike Lish, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ajinomoto. "As the global leader in the amino acid fermentation production, adding this capability is a natural extension for Ajinomoto."

After the expansion, Ajinomoto will continue to manufacture some cystine and cysteine using its current chemical synthesis process, carried out by Nippon Protein Company, a wholly owned affiliate of the company. Ajinomoto does not use sources of animal origin in its cystine and cysteine production.

The new fermentation initiative will be carried out in one of Ajinomoto's existing facilities. Product rollout is expected in late 2011.

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