Oct 01, 2018 Read time: approx. MinutesMinute

Cystine Production Started in Spain

Fermentation process allows manufacture from non-animal raw materials

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the Group's life sciences division, has begun producing fermentation-generated cystine at its new site in León, Spain. Over the past eighteen months, the division has extensively modernized part of the 800-cubic-meter 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 €30 million. WACKER employs more than 40 people in León.

“With our investment in the León site, we are well equipped to strengthen our position as the global market and technology leader for fermentation-generated cystine,” explained Dr. Gerhard Schmid, head of WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS. “The modernized fermentation plants and the new cystine production plant enable us to reliably meet our customers’ growing demand for cysteine and cystine, and to commercialize new fermentation-generated products.”

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

Production equipment in León

Production equipment for fermentation-generated cystine at the León site