GLOBAL May 2019
WACKER introduces new brand FERMOPURE® for its natural, vegan Cystine/Cysteine
WACKER is proud to introduce its new brand, FERMOPURE® for all of the amino acids that the Group produces.
L-cystine – the starting material for L-cysteine – is manufactured by fermentation at the group's new production site in Leon, Spain which has also achieved quality certification for both FSSC 22000 and ISO 9001. Due to the entirely plant-based and inorganic raw materials, WACKER’s cystine and cysteine are purely vegan. They are ideal for use in food and pharmaceutical products.
“With FERMOPURE®, WACKER offers a brand that stands for innovative, safe and versatile cystine and cysteine products,” said Dr. Stefan Neumann, Head of the Bioprocessing business line at WACKER. Since September 2018, cystine production has been growing steadily at the modernised and technologically upgraded site in León.
WACKER is also the first company in the world to manufacture cystine by fermentation – thanks to a patented biotech process. This has an advantage as its raw materials are entirely plant-based and inorganic, so that any potential contamination due to animal or human pathogens can be eliminated completely. Neumann said, “Our production process yields products that are vegan, kosher and halal. This makes them ideal for numerous applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries."
WACKER received the 2008 Environmental Award from the Federation of German Industries (BDI) for this process.
This fermentative production requires the aid of microorganisms and glucose from plant starch. These microorganisms are by nature able to synthesise cysteine. In the fermentation tank, they produce the amino acid in a continuous stream of glucose and inorganic trace elements. The microorganisms release cysteine directly into the surrounding culture medium in the fermenter, where spontaneous oxidation takes place – two molecules come together to form the dimer cystine. This product can subsequently be reduced again to the monomeric cysteine by electrolysis. The latter is one of the 20 natural amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
Thanks to their properties and high level of purity, WACKER’s FERMOPURE® products have broad applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries. They find use in the manufacture of flavorings, as additives in baked good and as an essential component of baby and toddler food. Cystine and cysteine are popular ingredients in nutritional supplements for strengthening the skin, hair and nails. The pharmaceutical sector uses cysteine in expectorants or to produce insulin, for example.
“In León, we are well-equipped to satisfy our customers’ growing demand for cysteine in the long term and to advance other bioengineered products,” added Neumann.
WACKER is a globally-active chemical company with 24 production sites worldwide, and an annual group turnover exceeding €4,98 billion in 2018.



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