Industrial enzymes in bioindustrial sector development: An Indian perspective
Hyderabad. He is the author of ten articles in
Industrial enzymes in bioindustrial sector development: An Indian perspective
Anuj Kumar Chandel 0 1
Ravinder Rudravaram 0 1
Linga Venkateswar Rao 0 1
Pogaku Ravindra 0 1
Mangamoori Lakshmi Narasu Date Received (in revised form): 0 1
nd August 0 1
0 Pogaku Ravindra holds an MTech in chemical engineering and a PhD in biotechnology and is a faculty member of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sabah, Malaysia. He was a visiting scientist at Cornell University , USA. He has 25 years of teaching, research, administration and industrial experience and has been an honorary consultant to many food and biotech companies. He has published and presented over 150 papers, ten keynote and plenary lectures in the USA , UK , Canada, India and Malaysia
1 Anuj Kumar Chandel has an MSc and is currently pursuing a PhD in biotechnology at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. He is also working with Celestial Labs Ltd , Hyderabad , as a project consultant in establishing the enzymes production facility. He previously worked for Dalas Biotech Ltd , Bhiwadi , India , in the production of Penicillin G acylase and beta-lactam antibiotics and on bioethanol production from lignocellulosics under a nationwide research project funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India). He is an author of ten articles in peer-reviewed journals and books
annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent. This article touches upon the importance of major industrial
enzymes in the development of the bioindustrial sector in India. Also, applications of enzymes,
manufacturing industries and major suppliers or distributors of enzymes have been discussed.
Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (2007) 13, 283–291. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jcb.3050065
The Indian economy since 1990 has risen
sharply. Today, the economy of India is the
third largest in the world as measured by
purchasing power parity (PPP) with a GDP
(gross domestic product) of US $1.0 trillion
upon measuring in USD exchange rate
terms.1 India is the second fastest growing
major economy in the world after China,
with a GDP growth rate of 9.2 per cent at
the end of the second quarter of 2006–2007.2
The main driving forces behind this
unprecedented success are information
technology (IT) and biotechnology (BT).3
IT and BT constitute approximately 5 per
cent of the country’s GDP, showing 23 and
40 per cent growth, respectively, during the
year 1999–2000. BT covers a very broad
range of specialised areas including
biopharmaceutical, bioindustrial, bioservices,
bioagriculture and bioinformatics. Out of
these, the bioindustrial sector, which
encompasses the harnessing of microorganisms
for the production of value-added bioactive
ingredients (industrial enzymes, organic
acids, bulk chemicals, single-cell proteins,
etc.), has played a predominant role in the
overall development of biotechnology after
biopharmaceuticals. Both biopharmaceutical
and bioindustrial industries generated almost
Rs. 35,700 and 4,250m revenue during
the year 2004–2005, respectively.4 Table 1
presents the breakup of revenue generated
by different Indian biotechnology industries.3,4
In recent years, BT has shown a slow but
steady growth and has emerged as an
important contributor to world economy.
According to Ernst and Young’s 2005
Annual Global Biotechnology Report, the
biotechnology sector is one of the fastest
growing sectors, with a revenue growth of 17
per cent from 2003 to 2004.5
Recent biotechnological innovations have
paved the way for the successful production of
various biocommodities at a commercial level
that not only improved the product economics
but also the environment by replacing the
conventional chemical conversion routes. In
the country, the role of Government-funded
research institutes, universities and private
sector is highly remarkable in making BT
successful at a commercial level. India has
emerged as a major hub for cutting-edge
R&D bioindustrial projects for global
multinationals such as Novozymes (Denmark),
Genencore and Dyadic International (USA)
and Quest International (Irish Republic).
Recently, the Danish company CHR-Hansen
was launched in India for marketing the
enzymes applied in food and feed products,
while Novozymes recently opened its R&D
centre at Bangalore.6 These industrial giants
are now aiming towards the development of
potent and ‘designer’ cellulases for the cheap
and efficient production of bioethanol, the
future renewable energy source. Apart from
industrial enzyme manufacturers, bioservices
and biopharmaceutical companies have
shown an excellent turnover in India.
Table 2 shows the net turnover of the top
15 Indian BT industries during the year
Worldwide, Europe has considerable assets
in the field of industrial biotechnology.
In Europe, 70 per cent of the world enzyme
industries exist with a high level of
2002–2003 2003–2004 2004–2005
knowledge in the field of food technology
and fine chemistry.7,8 Due to an
everincreasing labour, energy and raw material
costs, more bulk manufacturing companies
are, however, moving to the Far East. In
the present time of increased industrial
development, the impetus of industrial
biotechnology in the improvement of any
nation’s economy is crucial.
A recent Frost and Sullivan study depicts
that various contract research models like
joint research, collaborative research and
complete outsourcing have given the BT
sector a successful impetus worldwide. India
has the 12th most successful BT industry
in the world as measured by the number of
companies. The main driving force for
commercialisation of BT in India is the
Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the
Ministry of Science and Technology. DBT
played a vital role in the commercialisation
of R&D activities for biotechnology, human
resource development and bioinformatics
programmes and has declared a new
development strategy in 2005 for revenue
generation up to US$ 5bn annually and
to create one million jobs by 2010.3
Enzymes have been the centre of attention
for researchers/industrialists the world over
due to their wide range of physiological,
analytical and industrial applications. Although
enzymes have been isolated, purified and
studied from microbial, animal and plant
sources, microorganisms represent the most
common source of enzymes due to their
broad biochemical diversity and feasibility
of large-level production by exploiting
cheap carbohydrate sources.9,10
This review presents an overview of the
current status of the bioindustrial sector in
India. Particular emphasis is placed on the
Indian enzyme manufactures and suppliers
and enzyme applications.
ENZYMES AND THEIR
Enzymes are catalysts, organic compounds
produced by living organisms that accelerate
the transformation rate of substrate to the end
product by lowering the activation energy
barrier.11 Although all enzymes are initially
produced in the cell, some are secreted
through the cell wall and function in the
cell’s environment. Hence, we recognise two
types of enzymes on the basis of site of
action: intracellular enzymes or endozymes
(functioning in the cell), and extracellular
enzymes or exoenzymes (functioning outside
the cell).7 Diastase was the first
commercialised enzyme for the production
of dextrins in bakeries, beer and wine from
fruits in France in 1830.12 In 1874, in
Denmark, Christian Hansen started the first
company (Christian Hansen’s Laboratory)
for the marketing of standardised enzyme
preparations, rennet for cheese making.7 In
USA, J. Takamine isolated bacterial amylases
in the 1890 s at Miles Laboratories. In 1913,
Otto Rohm’s patent gave the idea of using
pancreatic extract enzymes as washing aids
for laundry cleaning and the product was
marketed under the brand name Brunus
and sold in European markets for about 50
years.13 In the mid-1960s, Novo Industri A/S
introduced alkaline protease in the market
produced by Bacillus licheniformis under the
brand Alkalase.14 Furthermore, in 1985, Novo
launched a new multi-enzyme preparation
containing -cellulase, alkaline protease and
other enzymes, which brought evolutionary
changes in the market. In general, an ideal
enzyme for detergent preparation should be
effective at low levels (0.4–0.8 per cent) in
the detergent solutions. Today, proteases are
the leaders of the industrial enzyme market
Now enzymes have attained the status of a
household commodity. Recent developments
in the field of enzymology, such as genetic
engineering development for recombinant
enzymes, search for biodegradable carriers for
immobilisation, extremozymes and recently
cross-linked enzyme crystals yielding stable
enzymes, are more suitable for commercial
organic synthesis and their resolution.15
Modern enzyme technology, in conjunction
with multidisciplinary scientific knowledge
and process technology, is crucial for the
development of new, clean and cost-effective
manufacturing concepts for food specialty
(e.g., bread, cheese, alcoholic beverages,
vinegar, fruit juice, etc.), fine-chemical (e.g.,
amino acids, vitamins), bulk chemical
commodities (bioethanol, biodiesel, xylitol, 2,
3-propanediol, etc.), and pharmaceutical and
neutraceutical products.16,17 Enzymes also
have an application for a wide range of
analytical purposes especially in food
diagnostics and as sensors in electrochemical
reactions. Table 3 presents the major industrial
enzymes and their broad-range
Global sales of industrial enzymes were
valued at $2bn in 2004.29 The market for
Pharmaceutical enzymes accounted for 41 per
cent of the market with food and feed
industry (17 per cent) and detergent industry
(17 per cent) as shown in Figure 1.30 A recent
McKinsey estimate suggests that the total
value created by enzymes could be to the
tune of $12bn a year by 2010 globally. In
India, the maximum demand of enzymes is in
pharmaceutical industries, followed by food/
feed and textiles (Figure 2). In India, the
bioindustrial sector, which predominantly
comprises the enzyme companies, is estimated
to be Rs. 3,950m in 2006–2007 and
registered 5.33 per cent growth in 2006–
2007.4,30 India imports about 70 per cent of
the total enzymes consumed in the country,
the majority of which goes to the detergent,
textile, starch and pharmaceutical industries.
Based on available information, the estimated
consumption of industrial enzymes in India
in various sectors has been summarised in
INDIAN SCENARIO OF INDUSTRIAL ENZYMES’S PRODUCTION
In India, the major industrial enzyme
manufacturers are – Novozymes India,
Bangalore, Biocon India Ltd, Bangalore,
Advanced Biochemicals, Ahemdabad, and Maps
India, Ahemdabad. Novozymes was the market
leader in this segment during 2006–2007, with
total sales of Rs. 1,000m. Biocon and Advanced
Biochemicals were the other major players
with sales of Rs. 950 and 693m, respectively.4
Novozymes, Advanced Enzymes Technologies
and Zytex have registered over 20 per cent
growth in 2006–2007 against the previous year.
Rossari registered over 60 per cent growth
while Biocon registered 12 per cent growth
over the previous year’s sales revenue. The total
revenue generated by the top five Indian
enzyme manufacturers is shown in Table 5.
Currently, Novozyme is leading all the
industrial enzyme manufacturers in India. For
the first time, Novozymes is setting up a new
R&D laboratory in Bangalore, India. The new
facility will initially focus on optimising
enzyme properties. It is expected to be fully
operational from mid-2008.
Biocon India Ltd., Bangalore, is an
integrated leading enzyme biotechnology
company in India that has gained many
accolades worldwide for its strong
R&Dbased deliverables towards product specificity
In laundry, dish washing, textile washing, food and dairy industries, glass lens cleaning, etc.
In food industries, detergent industries, paper industry and pharmaceutical industries
Isomerise glucose to the sweetener molecule and high fructose, Starch liquefaction,
glucose–fructose sugar syrup making and ethanol making industries
In beta-lactam semi-synthetic antibiotics intermediates production and racemic mixture
In food, feed and beverages, pulp and paper industries, detergent industries and bioethanol
In pulp and paper industries, food and feed industries, textile and bioethanol production
In food and feed production, fruit juice purification and stabilization, textile industries,
retting and de-gumming of fibre crops and quality paper production
In dairy and other food processes, detergents, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, leather processing
and production of aliphatic acids
In hydrolyzing of tannins, leather processing, wine making by reducing the haze, preparation
of cold water soluble instant tea, coffee, etc.
In reducing phosphorus excretion of monogastric animals by replacing inorganic phosphates,
animal nutrition, processing of human food and environmental protection
Delignification of pulp and paper, fine paper making, fruit juice clarification and stabilization,
bioremediation, xenobiotic substrate removal, detoxification of plant cell wall-derived
with high output and better reproducibility. The
company has a diversified product range from
microbial-derived enzymes to generic bulk
drug(s)/medicine(s). The company is, however,
now focusing more on biopharmaceuticals and is
keen to develop some oral drug formulations for
insulin and rheumatoid arthritis. According to a
very recent report, the company is divesting its
industrial enzyme business for Rs 4,670m
Advanced Biochemicals Ltd., Pune, has
played a key role in the development of the
enzyme business in India. The company is
dedicated to the production of different
microbial enzymes used in pharmaceuticals,
neutraceuticals, textiles and distillation. The
strong R&D setup of the company prevailed
to launch new novel enzymes with greater
efficiency, less specificity and fast conversion
rates with high reproducibility. The company
is engaged mainly in the production of
alpha-acetolactate decarboxylase, alpha amylase
cellulase and alkaline protease. The company is
setting up a manufacturing facility at Indore
with an investment of Rs 150m. The company
has set aside another Rs 350m for its expansion.
Revenue (Rs. millions)
Source: Biospectrum, March, 2006 (www.biospectrumindia.com).
Maps India Ltd., Ahmedabad, has produced
microbial-derived industrial enzymes since
1975. Their main products are palkoenzyme
(alpha amylase) and palkobate (alkaline
protease). The company has a strong
marketing strategy to capture the domestic
users as well as the foreign market.
Mumbai-based Rossari Biotech Ltd. is
offering the enzyme solutions for textile
auxiliaries. The company has, however, also
recently ventured into newer areas like food,
feed and paper starch-based enzymes.
Fermenta Biotech Ltd., Kullu, Himachal
Pradesh, has been a pioneer in penicillin
acylase production to meet the requirement
of pharma companies for the production of
beta-lactam antibiotics in India. This company
is now focussed on other enzymes such
as- Fermase OX 1500, Fermase PA 1500
and enantio-selective enzymes like the
R- oxynitrilase enzyme, which is used in
the preparation of high-value optically
Kopran Drugs Ltd., Mumbai, manufactures
semi-synthetic penicillins and is among the
world’s highest producers of amoxycillin. The
company also makes penicillin acylase for its
own requirements to synthesise beta-lactam
Concord Biotech Ltd., Ahmedabad, is
also involved in the production of penicillin
acylase and other hypolipaemic products such
as lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, etc. The
company’s main product is penicillin acylase
and has exported the enzyme to China and
European countries since 2000.
Dalas Biotech Ltd., Bhiwadi, Rajasthan,
has played a key role in the fulfilment of
penicillin acylase supply to beta-lactam
antibiotic manufacturers. The company is also
looking for the production of glutaryl-7ACA
acylase and D-amino acid oxidase, which
play a key role in the biotransformation of
cephalosporins into 7-amino cephalosporanic
acid and glutamic acid.
Osten Enzyme India Pvt. Ltd., Chennai,
manufactures, supplies and exports
enzymemediated oil, bioadditives commonly used in
refineries, industries and automobiles in India
and abroad for pollution control, savings
on fuel oil and environment protection.
Hyderabad-based Celestial Labs Ltd. has
started enzyme production after establishing
its state-of-art production facility at
Shameerpet Industrial area, Andhra Pradesh.
The company has selected today’s two most
common industrially important enzymes,
alkaline protease and alpha amylase, for their
production at the envisaged capacity of 20 KL
fermenter scale. The company has a technical
tie-up with Institute of Microbial Technology
(IMT), Chandigarh, one of the most reputed
and premier research organisations in the
In India, IMT, Chandigarh, has standardised
cost-effective, value-added and eco-friendly
production technology for the alkaline
protease and alpha amylase using submerged
fermentation. Another alkaline protease
preparation has been developed by Central
Leather Research Institute, Chennai, under
the trade name Clarizyme.32 In the country,
considerable research work on Penicillin G
acylase has been carried out at National
Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, Hindustan
Texnzymes India, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Americos Industries Inc.,Ahmedabad, Gujarat
United Biochemicals Private Limited, Mumbai,
Ruchi Biochemicals, Mumbai, Maharastra
Trishul Chemicals, Chennai,Tamil Nadu
Manufacturers And exporters
Manufacturers and exporters
Manufacturers and suppliers
Manufacturers and exporters
Indian Textile Auxiliary Co., Bangalore, Karnataka
Manufacturers and exporters
Zytex India Private Limited Mumbai, Maharashtra
Naruveli Ventures Chennai,Tamil Nadu
Enzyme India Private Limited, Chennai,Tamil Nadu
Manufacturers and exporters
Monozyme India Limited, Secunderabad,Andhra Manufacturers and exporters
Prasanthi Leather Chem Private Limited, Kolkata, Wholesale suppliers/Distributor
West Bengal sellers
Biomax,Thane, Maharashtra Manufacturers
Genotex International Private Limited, Hyderabad, Manufacturers and exporters
Protos Trading Private Limited, New Delhi Importers/buyers
Textile auxiliaries and enzymes
Textile auxiliaries and enzymes
Enzymes and biochemicals for textiles
Enzymes and fat liquors, etc.
Antibiotics Ltd., Pimpri, Pune, and Madurai
Kamraj University, Madurai. Glucose
isomerase, phytase, laccases and lipases have
been the major thrust areas at University of
Delhi, South Campus, New Delhi. Central
Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai,
has mainly targeted tannases. Xylanases have
been the focus of research at Thapar Institute
of Engineering and Technology, Patiala.
Cellulases have been focused upon at IIT
(Indian Institute of Technology), Delhi.
Alkaline pectinase has been the area of
research at Microbiology Department, Panjab
University, Chandigarh. Apart from the
abovementioned research centres, other laboratories
are also engaged in enzyme research and are
doing well. A description of the details of
each research centre is beyond of the scope
of this paper.
SUPPLIERS IN INDIA
Today, the Indian biotech sector has attained
critical mass in manufacturing and research
services. Indian biotechnology is now poised
to leverage its scientific skills and technical
experiences to make a global impact on a
strong innovation-led platform. The
technological capability of a firm to produce
some products is only a part of the
requirement for the commercial success of the
business. Apart from technological capabilities,
the firm must be able to position its product
in the market. The market, thus, serves as the
link between consumers’ needs and the
pattern of industrial response.33 Table 6 shows
the potential enzyme distributors/suppliers in
India. There are, however, several enzyme
distributors in the country, but here we
briefly summarise the main and potential
ones. Their role is highly specific in upgrading
the successful commercialisation status of
industrial enzymes. The role of the direct
distributors/supplier is to promptly supply
enzymes to the end users.
FUTURE SCENARIO OF INDUSTRIAL ENZYMES IN INDIA
With the advent of biotechnology, there has
been a growing interest in and demand for
enzymes with novel properties. Enzymes
from marine microorganisms have unique
properties and have proven their industrial
applications.34 Other special enzymes are
thermo-tolerant enzymes, which have shown
enhanced stability even under highly stringent
conditions. These enzymes provide unique
advantages like greater stability during the
substrate conversion, which results in more
conversion cycles, thus saving energy and
time.35 Genetic engineering is of central
importance for the development of novel
genetically modified or ‘designer’ enzymes.
India is still fulfilling its enzyme demand by
importing to the tune of 70 per cent from
US, Canada and China. Looking into the
increased demand of enzymes in the future,
a nationwide production development
programme needs to be initiated with support
from the government and private sector funds.
Future achievements will include a much
greater appreciation of structure–function
relationships in enzymes, screening of novel
and high enzyme titre-yielding strains,
improvement in production yields adopting
statistical approaches and improvement in
downstream recovery of enzymes, etc.
Enzymes can be considered as green
chemicals; they have very wide applications
and can be referred to as household
commodities owing to their role in today’s
human activities. The government of India
through the Department of Biotechnology
(DBT), the Department of science and
Technology (DST) and the Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has
been considerate to the bioindustrial sector,
and funding projects related to industrial
enzymes. This will help the industry grow,
launch new products and compete with
Enzymes have a significant role in the
production of biofuels- the fuels of future.
Cellulases, xylanases and amylases act on
cellulosics and starchy substrates to yield a
cocktail of carbohydrates that can be
converted into motor fuel (ethanol) after
fermentation with appropriate microorganisms.
India still imports 70 per cent of its
enzyme requirements from the US, Canada
and China. If more research and
entrepreneurship attention is focused on
in-house production of enzymes, it will create
more employment and income, which can
expedite the new ways of saving the foreign
The bioindustrial sector, which mainly
comprises enzyme production companies, is
estimated to be Rs. 3,200m in 2004–2005
and has an influential impact on the country’s
economic growth. Among the Indian enzyme
manufacturers, Novozymes ranks top by
generating a revenue of Rs. 1,000m followed
by Biocon (Rs. 950m) and Advanced
biochemicals (Rs. 693m) during the year
To summarise, industrial enzymes have
played a significant role in today’s commercial
status of biotechnology in India. The future
will witness more and novel applications of
microbial enzymes in far greater areas than
what we could anticipate today.
We thank Dr A.N. Singh, Managing Director, Celestial
Labs Ltd, Hyderabad, for providing the necessary
facilities for data compilation, and Dr Neil Henderson,
Palgrave Macmillan and Mrs. Nirmala Rudravaram for
their insightful suggestions regarding the manuscript
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