Sodium Hyaluronate, the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, (HA) is traditionally isolated from rooster combs and bovine vitreous humor, where it is highly concentrated. From a source standpoint, this may not be ideal because there are certain risks associated. Microbial fermentation is a safer production process, resulting in HA free of BSE, allergens and viruses, although microbial fermentation has a lower production capacity , since it is hard to obtain high yielding bacterial strains. Some companies use transgenic technology to obtain high yielding strains for HA production, but the use of these GMOs can also spark controversy.

As these production challenges get debated, Fenchem has also been involved in HA productivity enhancement projects. Fenchem, rather than use genetic-based technology, has employed strain screening. Fenchem has examined numerous strains and conducting tests to evaluate the productivity of each strain, and through this screening has selected those with the highest potential yields as target strains. The selected strains are natural and have no genetic modification.

Once selected, Fenchem’s focus was then on optimization of medium formulation, cultivation conditions, purification processes, and other steps to optimize yield. Through these processes, an excellent processing route has been obtained, allowing Fenchem to produce HA with routine high productivity, (enhanced about 20%) for its HyaMax® ingredient. The molecular weight ranges from thousands to millions of Dalton depending on target application.

HyaMax® is Non-GMO, vegetarian, and free from allergens. Calcium and zinc salts of hyaluronic acid are also now supplied by Fenchem,

Fenchem is the first Chinese company to obtain an IP (Identity Preserved) certificate for soy-derived natural vitamin E and phytosterols covering the entire process from soybean cultivation to final product.

In recent years, oral HA has been gaining popularity for joint health and skin care in the US. Currently, Hyaluronic Acid, Chondroitin Sulphate and Glucosamine are the top-three joint health ingredients. The US markets for HA have been exhibiting strong growth, at nearly 15% annually.