The blog has not focused as much on enzymes – proteins that consist of long chains of amino acids held together by peptide bonds, and are important biological catalysts in accelerating the rate and specificity of metabolic reactions. The enzymes market was estimated in 2011 at around $2.6bn worldwide in terms of applications categorized under detergent enzymes, technical enzymes, food enzymes and animal feed enzymes.
BASF announced last week that it has strengthened its enzymes portfolio with three transactions: The acquisition of Henkel’s detergents enzyme technology; A research and license agreement with Florida, US-based biotechnology company Dyadic International on access to a new production host technology; and an R&D collaboration with Germany-based Direvo Industrial Biotechnology to develop a highly-efficient feed enzyme for animal nutrition.
BASF noted enzymes as “enablers in the development of future sustainable innovative solutions in a variety of applications especially consumer-driven industries.”
According to a 2012 Jefferies report, Novozymes accounted for 47% of the global enzymes market followed by DuPont/Danisco (21%), DSM (6%), BASF (4%), Associated British Foods (4%), captive production (10%) and others (9%).
In the industrial biotechnology sector, enzymes are particularly important in converting starches into glucose. Ethanol companies have also relied on R&D by enzyme companies such as Novozymes, Verenium and DuPont to make corn-based ethanol competitive with other feedstocks.
In the household cleaning and detergents market, consumer product companies such as Procter & Gamble, Ecolab, Unilever, Henkel, etc., have been using enzymes for their detergents and cleaning products formulations.
According to Jefferies, the detergent enzymes market was worth $742m worldwide last year. Technical enzymes include textile applications ($270m), personal care ($135m), leather processing ($81m), pulp/paper processing ($40m), and other industrial applications ($135m).