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Westernised eating habits and the desire for convenient foods to fit into busy working lives are driving demand for food and beverage enzymes in South Asia, according to Foodnavigator.com.

Quoting Krishnan GS, president of Novozymes Asia, the report said Novozymes has been present in India since 1983. Following its acquisition of Biocon in 2007 it now claims the leading position in the South Asian enzymes market.

Market segments that make most use of enzymes in India are beverages, brewing and bakery, Krishnan GS told FoodNavigator.com. “We see an increasing fast food culture, and that helps our business growth.”

Under ‘fast food’, Krishnan includes all food products that fit with more Western style eating habits. This is prompted by the emerging middle class, also by families seeking convenient food to feed their families due to both parents working.

People are also becoming more aware of quality issues – and many enzymes are designed to improve sensory attributes or shelf-life in food and beverage products.

Krishnan said that the Indian enzymes market is “growing steadily”, but that there has been a significant change in demand in the last five years.

While most of the interest to date has stemmed from Western-style foods, it is possible that enzymes could also be used to make traditional Indian foods in the future. “There are opportunities we are looking into,” Krishnan said.

In India enzymes as food processing aids have to go through a pre-market approval process, but brewing enzymes do not.

Krishnan told FoodNavigator.com that the acquisition also brought some new application development capabilities to the company across several industries, and in particular it bolster Novozymes global capabilities in enzymes for the wine and juice market. In September the company sold off some food ingredient elements to Biocon which do not fit with its core focus. The food additives part was sold to Bakels, and the brewing part to EAC Industrial Ingredients.

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