zuChem Inc. and Godavari Biorefineries Ltd. announced today that they have entered into a global partnership combining zuChem’s xylitol technology platform with Godavari’s leadership position in the production and commercialization of sweeteners and renewable sugar-derived ingredients. Under the agreement, the parties will apply zuChem’s proprietary bioprocess technology to produce a bio-sourced xylitol for use as a food ingredient. Godavari is an established producer and marketer of sugar and sugar-derived renewable materials since 1939, with a commitment to providing renewable ingredients to the global food ingredients industry.
“Our partnership with zuChem enables us to expand our sweeteners product portfolio while continuing to build on our biorefinery model, under which we convert otherwise waste biomass components into high value-added renewable ingredients, such as xylitol,” said Samir Somaiya, Chairman and Managing Director of Godavari Biorefineries Ltd.
“We are thrilled to be working with Godavari to deliver this new xylitol product to the market. Godavari is one of the true biorefinery innovators, and we are proud to see our process integrated into their facility,” said David Demirjian, CEO of zuChem.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener, contributing about 30% fewer calories than sucrose. In contrast to other sweeteners, xylitol has been shown to be actively beneficial for dental health, significantly reducing the occurrence of dental caries with regular use. It has also been shown to reduce the incidence of ear and upper respiratory infections and can be used as a diabetic sweetener.
Xylitol is primarily used by the confectionary and dental hygiene industries, and is considered the sweetener of choice in sugar-free gums in Asia and Europe. It has been gaining in popularity in the US and North America, but is subject to availability issues and price variability due to shortages of the current raw material used for its manufacture by chemical hydrogenation. The zuChem bioprocess process alleviates these constraints and, combined with Godavari’s production capabilities, will open the market for the development of new xylitol-containing products.
About zuChem Inc.
zuChem develops and commercializes innovative green, renewable manufacturing processes to produce unique carbohydrates and glycochemicals for human health and nutrition. The Company’s proprietary technology platform allows it to produce a variety of specialty sweeteners, pharmaceutical intermediates, nutritional prebiotics and other industrial bioproducts using enzymatic, fermentation and synthetic biology technologies. zuChem is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with research operations in Peoria, Illinois.
About Godavari Biorefineries Ltd.
Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd. was incorporated in 1939, and in 2009 Godavari Biorefineries Ltd. was established to emphasize Godavari’s expanding focus on renewable products from sugarcane. A part of the Somaiya Group, Godavari is a fully integrated sugar and biofuels producer, and is ranked among the top ten sugar manufacturers in India. Godavari is also one of the largest producers of bioethanol and a pioneer in manufacture of alcohol-based chemicals in India.
Source: zuChem, press release, 2013-02-11.