Lallemand recently unveiled its strategic decision concerning one of its selenised yeast plants.

In this regard, Lallemand Animal Nutrition announced significant investments in a production infrastructure in Felixstowe, the United Kingdom. This production site is responsible for producing the selenium-enriched yeast, ALKOSEL.

The investments concern enhancements that are strategically designed to strengthen Lallemand's resilience and adaptability in response to external pressures and dynamic market conditions and to address sustainability goals while also remaining a reliable partner for customers.

By investing in these improvements, the company confirms its dedication to delivering high-quality products, meeting the market demand for competitive offerings, while proactively managing risks, optimising operational efficiency and reducing its environmental footprint by optimising energy consumption, Lallemand said.

The company pointed out that the production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae NCYC R397 (ALKOSEL) involves a specific production process that has been developed and is constantly optimised to ensure optimal and consistent quality of the product. ALKOSEL is produced by fed-batch culture: nutrients, including selenium, are supplied incrementally to the growing cells.

"The crucial part is to add the right amount of selenium at the right time," explained Elsa Parmentier, R&D project manager at Lallemand Animal Nutrition. "Adding too little results in a low concentration of organic selenium in the final product, whereas adding too much will inhibit the growth of the yeast."

Once the yeast has reached its optimal growth, it is carefully washed and harvested by centrifugation and the selenium enriched yeast cream is further processed to inactivate the yeast cells and dried in a drum dryer.
Andre Zigani, operations and plant director at Lallemand Felixstowe, said: "Drying of the yeast cream is one of the highest energy consuming phases of the whole process and, over the past years, we have made significant investments to reduce this cost and streamline our overall production process. In 2023, we have invested in a new drying technology, allowing us to ensure more energy efficient process (nearly 40% reduction in electricity).

"We are producing our own energy on-site. Combined heat and power deliver 100% of plant electricity, 25% of steam and 10% of hot water requirements. Also, new blowers have allowed us to reduce energy consumption in air supply for fermentation by 30%. Concerning water management, we installed in 2017 a reverse osmosis (RO) solution that reduced plant potable water consumption by 35%. This has economic impact as it enables us to optimise production costs and to reduce our environmental footprint… we are also currently investing in the reduction of our gas consumption by 50% by the end of 2025."

According to Lallemand, the Felixstowe plant, together with other selenised yeast production sites in North America and Europe, offers great flexibility and agility in responding to evolving market demands. This strategic setup enhances supply chain stability, reinforcing consumer confidence and maintaining consistent availability of goods even in challenging circumstances.

Matthieu Baulez, Lallemand Animal Nutrition's product management and supply chain director, said: "We have strengthened our supply chain relationships and diversified our raw material sourcing strategies to enhance resilience against disruptions and minimise dependencies on single suppliers or regions. This proactive approach ensures continuity of supply and minimises the potential impact of external disruptions on our operations."

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