The development, production, and distribution of enzymes are a major part of our business, currently accounting for 92% of sales. Enzymes, which are found in all living organisms, are biodegradable proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions. Enzyme technologies can typically replace conventional chemicals, getting more out of raw materials and making production processes more efficient. In other words, Novozymes provides efficient solutions that help companies save energy and water, increase yields, and hence save costs.
We are constantly striving to expand our markets by introducing innovations within existing markets as well as developing new concepts. With a 47% share of the global enzyme market in 2009, we retained our position as the world leader in enzymes.
We divide the enzyme market into four main areas:
Enzymes are widely used in detergents for laundry and dishwashing. The technology is well established and delivers a clean wash as well as stain removal. Certain enzymes allow consumers to wash laundry at lower temperatures and still get their clothes clean. Detergent enzymes are our largest product area.
Technical enzymes are mainly used in the transformation of starch into different kinds of sugars. This functionality is used in the starch conversion and biofuel industries. In 2010, we expect our enzymes to enable large-scale production of advanced biofuels from agricultural residues. Technical enzymes are also used for many other applications in, for example, the textile, leather, and forest product industries.
Enzymes for the food and beverage industries enhance, among other things, quality and efficiency in the manufacture of products such as bread, wine, juice, beer, and alcohol. Enzymes can, for instance, be used to reduce waste by keeping bread fresh for longer and to reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating the malting process in brewing.
Adding enzymes to animal feed increases its nutritional value. This leads to better feed utilization and helps the environment as fewer nutrients are released through manure.