US NewGenzyme, a subsidiary of the Chinese food ingredient and flour additive company Southern New Well Food Co., officially opened its Newport building yesterday, with Governor John Carney and Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock on hand.
US NewGenzyme uses a fermentation process to manufacture an all-natural bio-enzyme used to improve flour products. The product will help to replace chemical bleaching agents, which have been banned in China and several European countries. The U.S. market has also seen a significant decrease in the use of chemical bleaching agents, and an increased demand for safer alternatives.
The enzyme will be sold directly to large bakeries, flour mills and baking-ingredient companies in the U.S. and abroad.
“This enzyme is well-known in the industry, but until now, the challenge has been to produce it affordably on an industrial scale,” said CEO Gaofeng Liu. “It took us several years to develop and fine-tune the manufacturing process, but we are now ready to start commercial production in our Delaware facility. We are very excited to start operations in Newport. The state of Delaware and New Castle County have been very supportive of our efforts from the very start, and we are confident this will be a successful opportunity for both our company and the state.”
“We are excited and honored to welcome NewGenzyme to Delaware,” Carney said. “My administration is committed to building a strong innovation economy, and NewGenzyme is a perfect example of this—an entrepreneurial operation that will create high-tech jobs and additional opportunity right here in our state.”
NewGenzyme located in Delaware because of the strong manufacturing legacy in the region, according to Mike Tian, the company’s business manager. “Making the move from a lab-scale operation to an industrial-scale operation is a big step, and not an easy one. Here in Delaware, we were able to get the assistance we needed to launch our operation quickly and without a lot of extra steps,” he said.
Tian said Newport is close to FDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and its proximity to I-95 will make distribution to East Coast customers easy. He said the surrounding schools can provide talent as the company ramps up its operation.
Bullock echoed that: “Delaware has much to offer young bioscience companies, from its strategic location to its outstanding universities and deep talent pool,” he said.
Once the plant is running at full capacity, US NewGenzyme will employ between five and ten people, Tian said. Many of the positions will be manufacturing jobs, but the plant will also require several science and engineering professionals for quality assurance and plant management.