At a time when the government is cracking the whip on single-use plastic and encouraging multinational corporations (MNCs) to adopt environment-friendly packaging, Denmark-based enzyme producer Novozymes is working towards developing enzymes which are biodegradable.
These enzymes will help reduce the use of chemicals in detergents. The firm’s R&D centre in Bengaluru is targeting to come out with more environment-friendly detergent-enzyme prototypes to provide laundry solutions that would replace chemicals by 2022.
“Nearly 90 per cent of the detergents in the market are chemical heavy. Adding enzymes to detergents can bring down the total amount of chemicals by 25-30 per cent,” said Ashish Paradkar, director of R&D, at Novozymes India. A lot of companies are also adding fillers, which add to the pollution, to reduce detergent prices,” said a company spokesperson.
A global leader in industrial enzymes production, Novozymes has also developed a next generation detergent enzyme called Mannaway 200 L at its Bengaluru facility.
This enzyme, which is more stable as compared to its previous versions, is effective on food stains which contain guar and locust bean gums, such as ice cream and chocolate stains. “It took us around 18 months to come up with the enzyme,” said a company spokesperson. The enzyme will be manufactured in largescale in one of the company’s global manufacturing centres located across Denmark, the US, and China. The company is also looking at developing multi-enzyme blends customised for the Indian detergent industry in order to reduce the use of chemicals.
The global detergent market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 4.51 per cent during 2019-2023.
Holding almost 50 per cent share in the synthetic enzymes market globally, Novozymes’ enzymes are present in almost all major detergent products, including that of Unilever and Procter & Gamble.
Novozymes’ three major areas of play in India include food and beverages, household care and agri and bioenergy.
Of this, household care, including detergents, dishwashers and cleaners, account for 35 per cent of the India business. The ~15,000-crore firm also set up a production and supply chain facility near Mumbai that produces pectinase enzymes for the wine and juices industry.
The company invested around ~300 crore in the first phase to develop the manufacturing site near Mumbai.
The Danish enzyme manufacturer is in collaboration with French biotech major Carbios to jointly develop and commercialise biodegradable plastics.