The Sundays Business Post’s Elaine O’Regan writes about AnaBio Technologies latest investment.

Biotech company AnaBio is set for further growth over the coming months following the opening of a €200,00 product development facility last year in Co Cork.

The company will invest more than €2 million in the facility at Teagasc’s Fermoy-based Food Research Centre in response to rising demand for its ingredient encapsulation technology in the food, nutrition and animal feed sectors.

Founded in 2011, AnaBio makes capsules from natural proteins derived from milk, vegetables and citrus fruit, including one that uses milk to protect sensitive ingredients against acid.

The micron-sized capsules are designed to protect active agents, such as probiotics or medication in animal feed, against heat, light and oxygen.

“The capsules act like a delivery system for the body. They deliver the ingredient to where it needs to go,” said Sinéad Bleiel, founder and chief executive, AnaBio.

“If the ingredient needs to go to the stomach, it’s released in the stomach, and if it needs to go to the intestine, that is where the ingredient is released.”

AnaBio sells 11 products to companies in the human nutrition and animal feed markets in Europe, the US and South America.

“It employs 22 people and Bleiel expects to create upwards of 11 new jobs when the 400 sqm expansion to the Fermoy facility is completed next year.

“We have 13 patents and half of them are now fully approved,” she said. “We have time-release TR-Leucine and Creatine products and we want to apply our technology to more probiotic products.”

AnaBio will launch new products this year for infant formula production and ultra-high temperatures (UHT) food processing.

“Our strategy now is to scale up again, because of the demand we’re seeing in the market,” said Bleiel. “The whole idea is that we have general platforms for the delivery of probiotics, enzymes, minerals, vitamins and oils.”

AnaBio is supported by state agency Enterprise Ireland. “We need to scale up production very rapidly and Enterprise Ireland are offering us Trojan support, as they have been doing since we started,” said Bleiel.

“They have helped us from the regulatory perspective as well as introducing potential clients in new markets like South America. Support like that is invaluable.”