Leading the world in amino acid production
The Ajinomoto Group commands a large share of the amino acid market in the food, feed and pharmaceutical industries, and in other sectors.
The basic sources of our competitive strength in amino acid operations are our world-leading technology for amino acids production and our capability to provide a stable supply.
The Ajinomoto Group produces nearly 20 amino acids at 27 locations in Japan and other countries and regions and has built a global production system through strategic plant locations around the world, the selection of optimum materials and microbes, and the development of advanced processes.
Developing next-generation fermentation production technologies
Most of the MSG and other amino and nucleic acid fermentation materials and products are produced by fermentation using materials derived from agricultural products. The advanced technologies used by the Ajinomoto Group include technologies for the effective and ecologically conscious utilization of many different materials, technologies for the discovery and utilization of microbes that convert the materials into amino and nucleic acids with high efficiency, fermentation technology for maximum utilization of the microbes' capabilities, and technology for efficient refining while maximizing the effective utilization of byproducts and ensuring the purity of the end products. R&D is in progress to further extend and refine these world-leading biotechnologies.
Research into basic technologies
To further improve the efficiencies of fermentative production processes, the Group is using advanced molecular biology and systems biology, and performing comprehensive analysis of the biological interactions, metabolic pathways, and other characteristics leading to amino acids and related products from a wide range of materials. Our goal is to optimize the total system. At the same time, the Group is conducting research into new basic technologies for finding and using new microbes and enzymes, and is investigating new materials for the next generation of fermentation technologies.
The production of amino acids should be in harmony with agricultural practices and conditions specific to different parts of the world, whether the starting material is sugar cane, corn, cassava tubers, or other major crops. To this end, we have developed technologies designed for the efficient use of these materials in fermentation processes. It is important to respond flexibly to changes in the agricultural environment stemming from economic growth in developing countries, rising biofuel usage, trends in grain prices, and other factors. Consequently, we are producing diverse materials and developing a high level of technology for their utilization. R&D is also in progress for developing next-generation process technologies for the production of amino acids from non-edible biomass such as microalgae.
Resource-Saving fermentation technologies
As a global manufacturer of amino acids, the Ajinomoto Group has a social responsibility to continue developing technologies that reduce the impact on the environment. These include:
- (1)Technologies that significantly reduce the amount of raw materials by maximizing the microbe's productivity for fermentation.
- (2)The development of new technologies that increase the efficiency of the overall fermentation processes, thereby reducing the amount of energy and auxiliary materials (e.g. acids, alkalis) consumed and water discharged during production.
- (3)Selective in-house processing of raw materials for fermentation such as those extracted from sugar cane and tapioca, combined with the use of gas fuels obtained from biomass byproducts generated during processing.
More detailed information page
This Sustainability Data Book is a supplement to the Integrated Report, and was published as a tool for detailed reporting on initiatives to achieve sustainability.