Lonza Celebrates 40 Years as Leading Producer of Vitamin B3

September 01,2011
  • Since 1971, Lonza has supplied more than half the world’s demand for vitamin B3 in the human and animal health nutrition industries.
  • Lonza’s new vitamin B3 manufacturing platform, located in Nansha, China, will provide an additional 40 percent capacity – 15,000 metric tons per year.
  • Lonza has invested significantly to initiate a series of new research studies to further understand the role supplemental niacin plays in both human and animal health.


Basel, Switzerland, 1 September 2011 - Lonza today announces the celebration of its 40th year of Niacin production in Visp, Switzerland. As the world’s leading vitamin B3 producer for over four decades, Lonza supplies greater than half the total vitamin B3 demand in the global feed and food industries. To support future growth initiatives, a new vitamin B3 manufacturing facility is slated to open at Lonza’s cutting edge life-sciences campus in Nansha, China, during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Lonza’s Niacin production first began in 1971 in Visp, Switzerland. To support ever-growing global demand and quality requirements, two Niacinamide plants were subsequently constructed. In 1995, Lonza broke ground in Guangzhou, China; while a second plant followed in 2003 in Nansha, China.

“Lonza’s multi-site concept, know-how and experience, as well as exceptional quality, service and reliability have enabled us to become the leading partner to support the long-term growth for food formulators and end-use product manufacturers of human and animal nutrition products,” said Roman Quinter, Head of the Nutrition business unit. “As the global leader in vitamin B3 production, Lonza continues to lead the nutrition industry in product quality and innovation, supported by scientific research.”

The significance of vitamin B3 in humans was established in the 1930s when scientists discovered that foods rich in this vitamin helped cure pellagra, a disease characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia. If left untreated, it eventually leads to death. Once vitamin B3 supplementation was considered essential, vitamin B3 deficiency in developed countries has been nearly eradicated. This was mostly attributed to its addition in enriched foods such as flour. Additionally, vitamin B3 in the form of niacin or niacinamide can be found in products such as functional foods and beverages, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, niacin is known for its beneficial impact on the body’s lipid profile, specifically increasing the HDL, or “good cholesterol,” and lowering triglycerides.

“Vitamin B3 can be found in all living cells, but it is not produced naturally in the body. It is therefore considered essential and must be supplied to the body through diet or direct supplementation,” said Kevin Owen, Ph.D., NAFTA head of technical marketing and scientific affairs at Lonza. “Therefore, niacin is a critical component of the global food and feed industries.”

In the feed industry, nutritionists agree that niacin supplementation is required in every swine and poultry diet to meet the body’s basal requirement. In 2010, it was estimated that over 18 billion chickens and over 950 million pigs received vitamin B3 supplements in their feed, with most of the Niacin originating from Lonza. As the global leader in the vitamin B3 market, Lonza has initiated a series of new research studies to further define the role that supplemental niacin plays in improving animal health, optimizing productivity and increasing economic return for the farmer.
Vitamin B3 has a long history within the human and animal nutrition industries, and Lonza continues to be the global leader in vitamin B3 supply, information, and technology.

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