Evonik announced Oct. 26 it has started Mepron production at its site in Mobile, Ala., putting the plant into service after 15 months, according to plan.
Mepron is a formulation of the amino acid methionine specially developed for dairy cows by Evonik's Animal Nutrition Business Line.
"With this investment, we strengthen our position in North America as a leading company to offer innovative solutions to the market. This investment opens up new growth opportunities for the Animal Nutrition business and for Evonik in North America," said Dr. Ralph Sven Kaufmann, member of the executive board and chief operating officer of Evonik.
"The U.S. is our most important sales market for Mepron," Dr. Emmanuel Auer, head of the Evonik Animal Nutrition Business, said. "So, it was important for us to serve our customers out of our new own production facility."
The U.S. has the world’s largest stock of high-yielding dairy cows and produces about 12.5% of the world’s milk.
High-yielding dairy cows have particularly high methionine requirements. In conventional animal feeding, such requirements are covered by protein-containing feeds. In contrast, the use of Mepron in dairy cow rations allows the amount of crude protein in feeds to be reduced, with no loss of output. This, in turn, reduces feed costs, eases metabolism in the animals and reduces nitrogen excretion.
"In this way, we're contributing to more sustainable milk production, from which all sides benefit," Auer said.
Methionine counts among what are known as essential amino acids, which higher organisms must ingest with their food. Without adequate methionine dairy cows cannot optimally metabolize the protein in their feeds. In contrast to the situation for pigs and poultry, however, methionine must be specially “packaged” for ruminants so that it reaches the small intestine of the cow, where it can be absorbed. Without such a protective coating it would be degraded by microorganisms already in the first stomach.
Evonik’s Nutrition & Care Segment produces and markets four essential amino acids for advanced animal nutrition: MetAMINO, Biolys, ThreAMINO and TrypAMINO. Mepron, a protected DL-methionine for high-yielding dairy cows, and CreAMINO, a high-grade creatine source, complete the product portfolio.
The Animal Nutrition business line translates over 60 years of experience in manufacturing essential amino acids for animal nutrition into solutions that meet the evolving needs of its customers in over one hundred countries.