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Danish food ingredients maker Danisco is launching a new enzyme derived from seaweed, which can be used by the bread industry and in the production of cheese, among other things.


The enzyme, which is also known as HOX, was produced by Danisco after the company took over and further developed a discovery made by the Biotechnological Institute a couple of years ago. It allows bakeries to stop using bromate and ascorbic acid as bread improving agents, and can also be used within the dairy industry.


Scientists at the Institute discovered that hexose oxidase would be very useful in a number of applications, including as a food ingredient. The problem was, however, that the content of hexose oxidase in seaweed is so low that you cannot establish a profitable production based on seaweed extracts.


“We’ve discovered that through modern biotechnological methods we can produce the HOX enzyme in sufficient quantities and in a way which is both environmentally and financially viable,” says Leif Kjærgaard, senior VP, business development at Danisco.


The new enzyme is patented throughout the world. It has been approved by food authorities in the US, and similar approvals are expected within a short period of time in Europe and elsewhere. The enzyme will be available to customers within a matter of weeks.


“We have great expectations for the enzyme,” added Kjærgaard, revealing that Danisco is expecting to see sales of HOX enzymes worth around DKK50-100m (US$6-12m) in three to five years.

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