DSM Nutritional Products is the world’s leading supplier of vitamins, carotenoids and other fine chemicals to the feed, food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries. The company has a long tradition as a pioneer in the discovery of new products, new formulations and attractive applications for all industry segments.
In the Mexican market, DSM Nutritional Products ranks number one in supplying premixes and other fine chemicals for the livestock and pet industry. The company is part of DSM, a global company based in Holland. DSM has four clusters: nutrition related activities; performance materials cluster, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals.
DSM has been in business in Mexico for 60 years, and was founded as Roche Vitamins in 1946. Three years ago DSM bought the vitamin division from Roche and made the switch to DSM Nutritional Products. But as a leader in the nutritional field, the company’s history extends back to 1935 with the chemical synthesis of vitamin C, a process invented by Dr. Tadeusz Reichstein, of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich. Roche gradually added other synthesized vitamins to its range. Today it sells a full palette of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.
A history of innovation
In 1956, Roche began producing carotenoids with the first synthesis of beta-carotene, and over the years followed up with apocarotenal, apo-ester, canthaxanthin, astaxanthin, lycopene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Apart from vitamins and carotenoids, Roche Vitamins, which became a Division of Roche in 1979, moved into other products of significance to the food, pharmaceutical, feed or cosmetic industries, such as medicinal feed additives (1970), citric acid (1977), amino acids (1979), polyunsaturated fatty acids (1988), feed enzymes (1990), and cosmetic ingredients such as sunscreens and emulsifiers (1996).
Through heavy capital investment in the 1970s, diversification in the 1980s, and acquisition and further market penetration in the 1990s, the division continued to secure its market leadership.
“Consumers are demanding food products that are safe and high quality to satisfy their needs. DSM is continuously investing in developing new products and applications to make livestock
more efficient, while ensuring safety and well-being. We have developed product forms (vitamins, carotenoids, enzymes) that are safe and stable for animal feed production,” explains DSM’s
director general, Dr. Alberto Robles. In Mexico, the company’s main business is the manufacturing of premixes under the Rovimix Premix brand. DSM’s premix facility is equipped with Buhler
technology and has received numerous certifications, ISO: 9000 among these.
Globally the company maintains an Analytical Research Center that provides expertise and competencies for identifying and/or quantifying carotenoids, vitamins and new bioactive compounds in product forms, premixes, application forms (feed, food, pharma), in biological materials (blood, plasma, tissues) in chemicals and fermentation out of process research and development. Its task is to analytically support innovative projects in the search for new products, and new processes. This includes support for efficacy studies, safety studies, ADME & kinetic studies, stability studies, the development of new product forms and launching activities. The center delivers services to the marketing and the sales organization (customer analytical service) and to the technical organization at DSM Nutritional Products (technical service and trouble shooting).
In addition the center offers expertise in a variety of technologies, such as spectroscopy (NMR, FT-IR), HPLC, GC, LC-MS (/MS), GC-MS, spectra -photometry and bio-analyzers. “We have especially wide experience in preparing samples for quantifying micro-nutrients,” Dr. Robles says, adding that the Analytical Research Center is ISO certified and runs the laboratory GLP or GMP compliant.
The company also maintains the Research Center for Animal Nutrition & Health, focused on identifying and developing new products that offer solutions to the feed industry. “Animal nutrition, as part of the food chain, has to consider consumer demand forsafe and high-quality products of animal origin, environmental aspects and animal welfare,” Dr. Robles explains. “It is our challenge to contribute with our products to these needs.”
The mission of the Research Center for Animal Nutrition and Health, located in Village-Neuf, France, is to cull data from controlled animal trials serving three key objectives: screening and development of new compounds for applications in animal nutrition; support of development of new formulations for existing products, and support of existing products with new scientific data and development of new applications.
“Currently the main focus of our research is on the improvement of feed utilization, the health status of young animals and the quality of products from animal origin,” Dr. Robles explains. “Our research center includes experimental facilities for poultry, swine and fish. The evaluation of data is supported by specialized labs, operated by teams of academic staff and lab technicians trained in applying biochemical, microbiological, immunological and various feed-specific analytical methods. A major asset is our pilot plant size feed mill, which is capable of producing our experimental feed at industrial conditions. The feed mill features all components of modern feed processing technology and is used for physical testing of new compounds and formulations to assess in process stability.”
The company also conducts research in conjunction with UNAM (National University of Mexico) and with INIFAP (National Institute for Livestock Research).
Leading the market
In Mexico, DSM’s premix plant in Guadalajara is equipped to produce more than 40,000 tons of premix per year and currently produces 36,000 tons. “Building on our long tradition of leadership in this industry, we are committed to continuously providing outstanding products and services for human and animal well-being,” Dr. Robles says. The company’s other premix plants are spread out across Central and South America, Canada and Europe, Asia/Pacific and Africa. Globally DSM has 6,000-plus employees, with 160 in México.
Most of the company’s products are nature-identical, which means that their chemical structures and properties cannot be distinguished from the ones found in plants or animals. Core products include:
• Vitamins (ROVIMIX®, STAY-C®)
• Carotenoids (CAROPHYLL®)
• Enzymes: (RONOZYME®, ROXAZYME®)
• Nutritional additives (HyD®)
• Eubiotics (VevoVitall®)
• Premixes: solutions and nutritional concepts
• Blends: tailor made dry and liquid blends; CustoMix, Supplemix™
Functional Ingredients: citric acid and citrates; mixed tocopherols; antioxidant blends RONOXAN®
In 1991, DSM introduced quality management based on both Good Manufacturing Principles (GMP) and the International Standards Organization ISO: 9000 quality standards. Since Jan. 1, 2002, the company has had uniform and group-wide certification.
The certification encompasses all functions, which means that all production units, premix plants, distribution centers and the entire global marketing organization are covered by the certificate. All processes are designed to anticipate customer requirements and market trends. “We consider this a prerequisite for enabling us to provide solutions in terms of products and services at the right time and quality,” Dr. Robles maintains.
Innovation, stresses Dr. Robles, is a “survival skill. We foster this skill to the benefit of both your future and ours. Lateral thinking and innovative attitudes are valuable tools with which we secure that future. They lead us to discoveries that we then link to your needs. This extends the range of your offering and creates new business for you and for us.”
This drive for innovation has precipitated the development of new products, including:
Animal Nutrition & Health:
• Rovimix HyD®: Advanced vitamin D form to improve egg & poultry meat production.
• Ronozyme®: Enzymatic products developed to improve the feedstuffs utilization by the livestock.
• Microsurce®: Bacterial tool developed to decrease environmental pollution
Human Nutrition & Health
• 2003: TEAVIGO™, the major active health component of green tea in pure form
• 2001: Lutein, a nutritional ingredient for eye health (human nutrition and health)
• 2001: PARSOL® SLX, the new generation of UV filters (cosmetics)
• 2000: OPTISHARP™ (Zeaxanthin), a nutritional ingredient for eye health (human nutrition and health)
• 1999: REDIVIVO ™ (Lycopene), a powerful antioxidant (human nutrition and health)
With the successful implementation of a program called Vision 2005 DSM has laid a strong and solid basis for further value creation. “Value creation will be based on what we have built up over the past few years and will be achieved through market-driven growth and innovation, increased presence in emerging economies and strong continuation of Operational Excellence programs,” Dr. Robles explains. This gives way to Vision 2010, described as a “challenging strategy that further builds on the sound foundation that has been laid through the completion of Vision 2005.” In this way, DSM will continue to nurture the industry’s growth well into this century.