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Natural cystine and vegan cysteine


FERMOPURE is Wacker’s fresh brand name for all of the amino acids that the group produces. At the new site in León, Spain, L-cystine – the starting material for L-cysteine – is manufactured by fermentation. Production in León has been certified to both FSSC 22000 and ISO 9001 and thus satisfies the highest of quality requirements. Due to the entirely plant-based and inorganic raw materials, Wacker’s cystine and cysteine are purely vegan. They are ideal for use in food and pharmaceutical products. Since September 2018, cystine production has been up and running at the modernized and technologically upgraded site in León. Wacker is the first company in the world to manufacture cystine by fermentation – thanks to a patented biotech process. This has the advantage that the raw materials are entirely plant-based and inorganic, so that any potential contamination due to animal or human pathogens can be eliminated completely. The production process yields products that are vegan, kosher and halal.

This fermentative production requires the aid of microorganisms and glucose from plant starch. These microorganisms are by nature able to synthesize cysteine. In the fermentation tank, they produce the amino acid in a continuous stream of glucose and inorganic trace elements. The microorganisms release cysteine directly into the surrounding culture medium in the fermenter, where spontaneous oxidation takes place – two molecules come together to form the dimer cystine. This product can subsequently be reduced again to the monomeric cysteine by electrolysis.

Thanks to their properties and high level of purity, FERMOPURE products have a broad application range in the food and pharmaceutical industries. They find use in the manufacture of flavourings, as additives in baked good and as an essential component of baby and toddler food. Cystine and cysteine are popular ingredients in nutritional supplements for strengthening the skin, hair and nails. The pharmaceutical sector uses cysteine in expectorants or to produce insulin, for example.

Wacker-Chemie GmbH

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