International nutritional ingredients supplier DSM Nutritional Products has opened a new Chinese facility for the production of vitamin B6 on the back of rising global demand.
Increased demand for foods and personal care products to be fortified with vitamin B6 coupled with the need to shift to up-to-date production methods led to the investment of over USD 100 million for the new facility in the Xinghuo Development Zone of the Fengxian District of Shanghai, said André Bos, president of human nutrition and health at DSM Nutritional Products.
He added that the facility, which features unique technologies for reduced environmental impact, is designed to meet growing demand for high quality vitamin B6 globally. The market for vitamin B6 has grown by 2% every hear since 2010, he added.
“DSM has been producing vitamin B6 in Grenzach, Germany for more than 40 years and the facility needed to be upgraded to current technologies,” Bos told NutraIngredients-Asia. “After careful evaluation, we therefore decided to build a new, state-of-the-art production plant.”
The new Chinese facility was officially opened in June, with the aim that production of vitamin B6 will slowly shift from the German facility in coming months. However, the DSM president noted that the site at Grenzach will continue to produce vitamin B6 until at least mid-2017, to ensure that sufficient supply of the current product is available during the transition period.
Bos added that the ‘advanced clean technology’ installed at the new facility offers advantages for the company and will also help to reduce environmental impact.
“For example, substantial effort is made to isolate all by-products in such a high purity that they can be re-used in a sustainable way such as fertiliser,” said Bos. “This approach results in less waste and it supports sustainable manufacturing goals.”
DSM said other measures to improve environmental performance of the plant include the purification and isolation of by-products for use in other industries, the application of heat integration, as well as reduced water consumption through recovery and re-use strategies.
DSM in China
DSM’s business in China is growing steadily and currently comprises 39 affiliates including 21 manufacturing sites and a workforce of more than 4,300 people, said the firm.
Bos said there are currently 125 employees working at the vitamin B6 plant, while the wider DSM Xinghuo site has more than 400 full time employees.
“Not only does the new plant ensure an extremely high quality global supply of vitamin B6, but it provides employment and economic benefits to the local community and signals a continuous investment in the industry now, and for decades to come,” he said.