Kerry acquires duo of biotech firms

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Kerry is to acquire biotech firms c-LEcta and Emmex
Kerry is to acquire biotech firms c-LEcta and Emmex

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Nutrition and ingredients firm Kerry has acquired biotechnology firms c-LEcta and Emmex in a bid to expand its technology portfolio and manufacturing capabilities across fermentation and developing enzymes for use in the production of food and drink.

The acquisitions followed the purchase of biotechnology company Biosearch Life by Kerry last year​,​ as part of its continued to focus on its nutrition and ingredients business. 

c-LEcta specialises in precision fermentation, optimised bio-processing and bio-transformation for the creation of enzymes and ingredients. The Leipzig, Germany-based firm employs more than 100 people already has a strong presence in the pharmaceutical market and is rapidly progressing into the food and drink space. 

Albert McQuaid, chief science and technology officer for Kerry, said the agreement to acquire c-LEcta would accelerate Kerry’s innovations in enzyme engineering, fermentation and bio-process development. 

Growth potential

He added: “Our broad market reach across food and pharma markets – combined with our deep enzyme applications expertise and integrated ingredient technology design – will enable and accelerate the growth potential of c-LEcta’s strong portfolio and technology capabilities, while also supporting us in the creation of tastier, more sustainable and healthier products.” 

Mexico-based Emmex is a well-established enzyme manufacturer that supplies multiple bio-process solutions for the food, beverage and animal nutrition markets. Kerry planned for the acquisition to extend its fermentation and enzyme manufacturing capacitates into Latin America. 

Commenting on the acquisition of Emmex, Kerry Applied Health and Nutrition chief executive Neil Cracknell said: This strategic acquisition of Enmex will complement Kerry’s existing enzyme portfolio and build on our strength in enzymes for modifying cereals and grains.  

The role of enzymes

“We see enzymes playing a critical role in helping achieve Kerry’s vision to create a world of sustainable nutrition, which is about providing better nutrition, with better processes, which have less impact on our earth’s resources.” 

A growing number of manufacturers are looking towards enzymes as a way to help boost yield, develop new products and cut down on harmful waste products.  

Tetra Pak has partnered with Swiss food tech start-up EnginZyme to develop enzymes to reduce food waste, improve sustainability and increase yield. 

In our exclusive podcast,​EnginZyme chief executive Karim Engelmark Cassimjee and Tetra Pak processing development director Micael Simonsson spoke with Food Manufacture about the applications of enzymes in the food and drink space and their potential future usage.   


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