Process Development

NovaBiotec Dr. Fechter GmbH works with research centres and industrial partners to develop new applications for enzymes and to optimise already existing enzymatic processes. A major focus is on how to apply extremely stable or immobilised enzymes in the food, processing, and diagnostic industries.

So-called extremophilic microorganisms form compact and thus more stable enzymes. They have a wide array of applications especially in resource-intensive branches of industry. There is great demand for enzymes that are stable at high temperatures, high salt and surfactant concentrations, alkali conditions, and under fluctuating process conditions. This potential, however, has been largely unexplored.

We provide all areas of process development from enzyme screening and official laboratory specifications to fermentation, downstream development, and scale-up strategies.

An enzymatic process for producing the new Tagatose sweetener was therefore developed and patented (DE 100 36 068) as part of a research project. Derived from extremophilic algae, the enzymes are suitable for industrial applications.

Immobilisation represents another way to stabilise enzymes, by binding them onto a suitable substrate. It achieves a higher degree of enzyme stability than conventional process conditions, which have fluctuating substrate concentrations and inhibitory constituents. Processes can be run on a continuous and stable basis, without requiring additional steps to separate the enzymes from the products. Stabilisation considerably lengthens the lifespan of the enzyme, allowing enzymes, substrates, and any additional co-factors to be regenerated.

One enzyme immobilisation application is the ß-glucan reactor (patent no. DE 100 43 867) that we developed to improve filtration processes in breweries. We have also developed a process for the textile industry that takes the starches that accumulate in desizing procedures and uses an enzymatic cascade process to convert them to hydrogen peroxide, which can then be used as a bleaching agent.

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