Chr Hansen A/S

Chr. Hansen A/S is a global biotechnology company that provides bioscience based natural ingredients to the food, wine, dietary supplements and agricultural industries. Chr. Hansen has 2450 employees in 30 countries, 85 distributors & agents around the world, and state-of-the-art production facilities on five continents. In 2012/13, Chr. Hansen had a turnover of EUR 738 million and nearly 7% of turnover was spent on R&D. The company has more than 200 patent families and 1500 pending patents. Chr. Hansen were the first in the world to develop breakthrough technologies for the wine industry such as direct inoculation malolactic cultures, frozen cultures, non- Saccharomyces yeast and direct inoculation frozen yeast.

Role and key persons: 

Dr. Jan Hendrik (Hentie) Swiegers has more than 15 years experience in wine microbiology with 26 publications in the field, more than 1200 citations (H-factor 18) and 10 pending patents. He has both a broad knowledge of wine making and the influence of microorganisms on the wine making process as well as extensive new product / technology development competencies and experience on implementation of new microbial concepts into the world’s wine industry.

Dr. Rute Neves is manager of the Bacterial Physiology & Improvement Department (5 scientists, 5 technicians) in the Discovery Unit at Chr. Hansen. She is a Biochemist with over 17 years experience in physiology of Lactic Acid Bacteria. She is skilled in metabolite profiling, fermentation, transcriptomics, and genetic manipulation. Co-author of 44 peer-reviewed publications and 2 book chapters. Over 80 poster presentations and over 30 oral communications by invitation. Coordination of several R&D projects with national and international collaborations, supervision of over 30 students and researchers in academic settings until 2013.

Mads Bennedsen is Senior Scientist in the Identification Department and member of the Board of Directors of Chr Hansen. He is a Biochemist with over ten years experience in molecular biology of lactic acid bacteria and has been a driving force in the whole genome sequencing efforts at Chr Hansen. Co-author of 12 peer reviewed papers and two patents, coordinator or project manager of several R&D projects with external collaborations

Research facilities, infrastructure and equipment: 

The R&D departments at Chr. Hansen have extensive expertise in the physiology of microbes, and in particular of Lactic Acid Bacteria, using this knowledge for guided strain improvement. Technological platforms for genomics, transcriptomics and metabolite profiling of microbes are available, as well as state-of-the art tools for genetic manipulation. Ingenious non-GMO approaches to generate bacterial strains with improved functionalities for commercial applications are used on a daily basis. State of the art screening laboratory with liquid handling robot, spectrophotometers and a high throughput flow cytometer. The R&D activities will be supported by Chr. Hansen Innovation and Commercial Development organizations.