Spain: Cystine Production Wacker Commences Production of Fermentation-Generated Cystine in León

Editor: Alexander Stark

Wacker Biosolutions, the life sciences division of the Wacker Group, has begun producing fermentation-generated cystine at its new site in León, Spain.

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Production plants for fermentation-generated cystine at Wacker’s site in León.
Production plants for fermentation-generated cystine at Wacker’s site in León.
(Source: Wacker)

Munich/Germany; León/Spain — Over the past eighteen months, the division has modernized part of the 800 m2 fermentation capacity acquired there at the end of 2016. In addition, it has built a production line for cystine. Capital spending for the site totals some $ 35 million. In the next few months, the plants are to be gradually qualified and ramped up to full capacity. The new site enables the manufacturer to meet its customers’ rising global demand. Cystine and cysteine produced from cystine are used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Wacker currently employs more than 40 people in León.

Cystine and cysteine, the amino acid produced from it, are widely used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food sectors not only, for example, to manufacture flavorings and make doughs in baked goods easier to process, but also as a free-radical scavenger in cosmetics products or as an expectorant in cough medicines. The company is the first company in the world to produce cystine by fermentation in a patented biotech process. Due to the entirely plant-based and inorganic raw materials, Wacker cystine and cysteine are purely vegetarian. This makes them especially safe for use in food and pharmaceutical products. In 2008, the manufacturer was awarded the Federation of German Industries (BDI) Environmental Prize for its innovative production of cysteine.