AJINOMOTO Animal Nutrition Group Inc., a 100% subsidiary of Ajinomoto Co. Inc., announced that it will construct a new plant at its U.S.-based subsidiary, Ajinomoto Heartland Inc. (AHI), in order to enhance the production capacity of its rumen-protected lysine (AjiPro-L) and to expand its sales in the market.
Through this expansion, Ajinomoto said it aims to grow its rumen-protected lysine as a driving force in its Animal Nutrition business, along with other existing products such as lysine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Lysine, an essential amino acid, cannot be utilized by ruminant animals as effectively as by monogastrics like chickens and pigs because of the complicated digestion and absorption systems that are specific to ruminants.
After many years of research and development, Ajinomoto said it successfully developed a technology that enables lysine to bypass the rumen and to be absorbed in the small intestine of ruminant animals. AHI launched commercial production and sales of rumen-protected lysine in April 2011.
In order to meet growing demand, Ajinomoto said it aims to expand its production capacity to more than 10,000 metric tons per year by fiscal 2016.
For the first step, the company will increase production capacity by 5,000 mt per year in 2014 by enhancing the AHI facility in Iowa. Following completion of the plant in November 2014, Ajinomoto said production capacity for the product will be 6,500 mt per year.
In addition, in order to deliver the value of this technology globally, the company said it will strengthen its investments in research and development for upgrading the efficacy of the product.
Ajinomoto is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 26 countries and regions, Ajinomoto had net sales of about $14.1 billion in fiscal 2012.
Since its start-up in 1986, AHI has ramped up L-lysine production to 100,000 mt, which is fully dedicated to serve the North American market. In 2002, AHI began L-threonine production in Iowa, which now has a current capacity of more than 40,000 mt.