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CJ CheilJedang develops the world’s first ‘natural L-cysteine’, dominating the market for future food ingredients

2021.04.01

CJ CheilJedang is out to dominate the high-profit, high-value future market with next-generation food ingredients developed based on over 60 years of R&D expertise in microbial fermentation and advanced technology

CJ CheilJedang develops the world’s first ‘natural L-cysteine’

CJ CheilJedang’s natural L-cysteine ‘FlavorNrich™ MASTER C’ product image

▶ CJ CheilJedang’s natural L-cysteine ‘FlavorNrich™ MASTER C’ product image

CJ CheilJedang has become the world’s first organization to commercialize mass production technology for the functional amino acid ‘L-cysteine’ using a non-electrolytic (natural) method. The name of the brand and product is FlavorNrichTM MASTER C.

L-cysteine is a functional amino acid that has antioxidant, detoxifying and skin regenerating effects. It also has a meat-like flavor. It is used in health functional foods, drugs, or animal feed additives, and recently the demand for ‘natural’ L-cysteine has been growing constantly with the increased use of aroma in general foods. Natural L-cysteine used in foods is traded at a price 3 times higher than general products, thereby showing high added value.

Currently, most companies producing L-cysteine are extracting it from animal fur (1st generation L-cysteine) or electrolyzing plant materials (2nd generation L-cysteine). CJ CheilJedang, however, has succeeded in producing 3rd generation L-cysteine based on microbial fermentation without electrolysis.

With the stringent standards for natural food ingredients in the U.S. and Europe, the development of L-cysteine will be a great opportunity

L-cysteine production methods from the bottom: 1st generation hydrolysis, 2nd generation electrolysis, 3rd generation natural (non-electrolytic) fermentation

▶ L-cysteine production methods from the bottom: 1st generation hydrolysis, 2nd generation electrolysis, 3rd generation natural (non-electrolytic) fermentation

The fact that the standards for ‘Natural’ labeling for food ingredients in the U.S. and Europe are becoming more stringent will also be a huge opportunity factor. Not only the raw materials, but also the production process must be free of artificiality in order for the product to be approved as ‘natural’. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently concretized the regulations for ‘natural flavor’, and thus electrolysis will no longer be approved as a ‘natural’ method.

CJ CheilJedang is anticipating a remarkable increase in the demand for natural L-cysteine in the food ingredients market, especially for flavors. L-cysteine can be used in future foods including meat substitutes as well as Halal foods and vegan dishes. With the increasing interest in nature-friendly and healthy products since the outbreak of the global pandemic, ‘natural L-cysteine’ is expected to receive great attention.

Meanwhile, the Clean Label fermented flavoring TasteNrich® released last year is also establishing itself successfully in the market by landing contracts with over 100 companies in more than 30 countries. The company will develop ‘TasteNrich®’ for ‘taste’ and natural L-cysteine ‘FlavorNrich™’ for ‘flavor’ as the next-generation key products.

“The natural L-cysteine market has a great future value anticipating a two-digit growth on average each year until 2025,” said an official at CJ CheilJedang. “FlavorNrich™ will be a good alternative for global companies looking for new ingredients.”