Danish food and ingredients group Danisco has launched a new enzyme product derived from seaweed which it claims will help it extend its position as the world's leading producer of functional food ingredients. The enzyme, known as HOX, can be used in the bakery and dairy industries, among others.
HOX was developed by Danisco following earlier research by the Biotechnological Institute. Scientists at the Institute discovered that hexose oxidase had a number of useful applications, including as a food ingredient. The problem was, however, that the amount of hexose oxidase found in seaweed was so low that it was impossible to produce enough of the enzyme from seaweed extracts alone.
"We discovered that through modern biotechnological methods we can produce the HOX enzyme in sufficient quantities and in a way which is both environmentally and financially viable," said Leif Kjaergaard, senior vice president, business development at Danisco.
The new enzyme is patented throughout the world. It has already been approved by the food authorities in the US, and similar approvals are expected soon in Europe and elsewhere. The enzyme will be available to the customers within a matter of week, the company said.
"We have great expectations for the enzyme and regard it as yet another important part of our efforts to develop Danisco's leading position within functional food ingredients," said Kjaergaard.
Danisco said it hoped that sales of HOX enzymes would reach DKr50-100 million (€7-14m) in three to five years.
The enzyme allows bakeries to stop using bromate and ascorbic acid as bread improving agents. Danisco said it was already the world's leading supplier of ingredients, including enzymes, for bakeries, and that its ingredients could be found in one in every four loaves of bread sold in supermarkets and bakeries around the world.