Developing, processing, and manufacturing of food enzymes and fine chemicals


Gerhard Wagner
Vice President R&D, DSM Biotechnology Center, Delft, NL


DSM is a global science-based company active in many business fields, including nutrition, health, climate and energy. DSM is a leading company in applied industrial biotechnology to produce ingredients for food and feed, and bio-based fuels or chemicals. Providing high quality products and special solutions to the customers requires research and development in order to gain in depth understanding of the related physical, chemical and biological processes involved in the manufacturing and processing of DSM’s products.

DSM Biotechnology Center’s (DBC), in Delft, R&D is built on a proud history of nearly 150 years. Many innovations developed at the site in Delft have found their way into society including: a production strain and process for the large-scale production of penicillin; a natural anti-fungal food preservative (Natamycin) which is widely used to protect a variety of foods and beverages from spoilage; and enzymes, which among other things enable the many millions of people worldwide with a lactose intolerance to include nutritious dairy in their diets.

Enzyme production and engineering is one of the key technologies needed to improve the quantity, quality, and enjoyment of food. DSM utilizes a number of microorganisms to produce food-grade enzymes that can be applied to baking, dairy, oil and fruit processing applications. Moreover, engineering of enzymes is used to introduce new and improve functionality, allow cost-effective improvement of food-base processes.

Starting from the end, with the product usage and application in mind, the R&D at DBC is structured according to the innovation cycle, Find, Make, Apply, and Enable, bringing biotech innovations to the factories and enabling sustainable and efficient manufacturing of bio-based products.
This R&D approach to bring innovation to manufacturing at DBC will be presented and exemplified.