THAILAND – Kyowa Hakko Bio, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings, has completed its production facility for human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), located in Rayong Province, Thailand.

The Japanese multinational company specializing in biotechnology and fermentation built the Thai Kyowa production facility with the support of Kirin Group’s engineering department and also received grant investment incentive benefits from the Thai Board of Investment.

The company said the new facility will help meet the increasing global demand for HMOs with a production capacity of approximately 300 metric tons per year. Products will be developed within the Kirin Group, aiming to expand its business globally.

The facility will manufacture three HMO products: 2FL, (2′-fucosyllactose), 3SL (3′-sialyllactose), and 6SL (6′-sialyllactose).

Kyowa has already established manufacturing processes for three of its HMOs, however, 3SL and 6SL have never yet been supplied on an industrial scale.

HMOs, also known as human milk glycans, are complex sugar molecules found in high concentrations in human breast milk and are said to rarely be found in cow’s milk or milk of other mammalian origins.

HMOs form the third most abundant solid component (dissolved or emulsified or suspended in water) of human milk, after lactose and fat.

Human milk oligosaccharides promote the development of the immune system, can reduce pathogen infections, and improve brain development and cognition.

The HMO profile of human breast milk shapes the gut microbiota of the infant by selectively stimulating bifidobacteria and other bacteria.

Kyowa Hakko Bio says for a long time, mass production of HMOs was difficult due to their complex chemical structure.

However, by applying our amino acid fermentation technology, the company established an HMO production process and achieved mass production.

The manufacturing process of the ingredient, as noted by the company, includes Saccharides as the starting material, then microbial fermentation, sterilization, purification, and finally, the HMOs.

The company first announced its plans to build the HMO facility back in 2020 and after completion, it said the production of HMOs will begin this year, with sales to infant formula manufacturers and other customers to start in 2023.

Yuki Kanzaki, president, and CEO at Kyowa Hakko Bio said: “Kirin Holdings has made a major shift to the Health Science domain, an area ranging from food to pharmaceuticals, to achieve the Kirin Group Vision 2027 long-term management plan. In this context, Kyowa Hakko Bio should play a central role in the Health Science business.”

“The role of Thai Kyowa is particularly important, and this new facility is an indispensable production line to meet the global demand for HMOs. Through the production and sale of HMOs, Thai Kyowa will continue to contribute to solving the health issues of infants and young children.”

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.