Clermont-Ferrand, 16 April 2019 – (FR0004177046 METEX), METabolic EXplorer (METEX), a biological chemistry company that develops and industrialises competitive and sustainable fermentation processes, has today announced the launch of its new technological platform, ALTANØØVTM, to expand its portfolio of products with functional ingredients and accelerate the industrialisation thereof.
Alongside its project to build a plant for the production of 1.3-propanediol (PDO) and butyric acid (BA), METabolic EXplorer has optimised its innovation process for the accelerated development of fermentation processes applied to the functional ingredients market. Following an initial successful proof of concept, METEX has announced the implementation of this platform which will enable the industrialisation of one new process per year, as of 2021.
Functional ingredients (organic acids, polyols, dyes, sweeteners, etc.) are used in the manufacture of everyday consumer products such as animal and human food products, body care products and biopolymers. Today, they are mainly manufactured by petrochemical means and represent a total market of several hundred billion euros. The share of this market generated by fermentation, which already stands at around 27 billion euros today, is growing 2 to 6 times faster than that generated by petrochemical means, driven by strong demand from consumers who are increasingly concerned about the naturalness of the products they buy.
The production of ingredients by fermentation is nowadays the best industrial option, as it addresses the concerns of industrial ingredient users and major clients seeking performance, competitiveness, naturalness and durability to meet their customers’ needs.
In order to quickly establish itself on this attractive market for functional ingredients of natural origin, METEX has capitalised on its 20 years of R&D experience in microbial engineering, creating the ALTANØØVTM platform, designed to shorten the development cycles of fermentation processes. Initial developments on two amino acids have enabled, for the first, final performance to be achieved beyond industrialisation targets in one year and, for the second, very positive progress to be made in just 6 months of development. On the basis of these encouraging results, METEX believes that it can reduce the development time of its fermentation processes to 12 to 24 months, compared to 4 to 8 years previously. These new ingredients of natural origin will target the cosmetics, animal health/nutrition and human nutrition markets, with one new product industrialised per year as of 2021.
To reduce the time-to-market and investment amount of its bioprocesses, METEX will industrialise its ingredients through partnerships with manufacturers with adequate fermentation capacities for the size of the targeted markets and market them through partnerships with leaders in the application segment.
After PDO and BA, the first functional ingredient to be industrialised will be glycolic acid (GA), for which METEX has already successfully completed several stages. GA is a reference anti-ageing active ingredient used in cosmetics and is also a precursor of PLGA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid), a biodegradable polymer used in medical applications. METEX’s glycolic acid of natural origin will be the first natural alternative to existing petrochemical processes.
 Source: Advancy expert interview – market size in 2018.
About METabolic EXplorer – www.metabolic-explorer.com
A pioneer in industrial biochemistry with some 20 years of experience, METabolic Explorer (METEX) develops alternative solutions to the petrochemical processes used in manufacturing.
Using renewable raw materials, it develops innovative industrial fermentation processes to produce competitive chemical compounds used in basic products of everyday life such as animal nutrition and health additives, plastics, textiles, cosmetics, and resins, among many others.
The company’s ambition with its biotechnological innovations is to produce consumer goods in a different way, without oil, in order to meet consumers’ new societal expectations and the objectives of the energy transition and sustainable development.
To create these innovative processes, METabolic EXplorer relies on a 70-person staff possessing the complementary competencies essential at every step of their development, from the optimization of biochemical catalysts in the laboratory to the industrial validation and production of samples in an industrial demonstration unit in continuous operation.
Based at the Clermont Limagne technology park, near Clermont-Ferrand, METabolic Explorer is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is included in the CAC Small Index.
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About De Smet Engineers & Contractors – www.dsengineers.com/fr/
De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC), with headquarters in Belgium, is a worldwide General Contractor in the Agro and Bio Industries. Its extended portfolio covers fields such as Sugar, Oils & Feed, Biofuels, Bio Based products and Fertilisers. The company provides clients with a broad range of services across 41 countries, from preliminary audits to full turnkey set-up.
De Smet Engineers & Contractors is part of the Moret Industries Group that carries out projects and supplies equipment to various Agro Industries worldwide.