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On the Road with Lee Swanson—Ajinomoto® AminoScience LLC.

Jack Heaton

Jack Heaton, president of Ajinomoto

Dear Friends and Valued Customers,

Most people know Raleigh as the capital of North Carolina, but few are as quick to recognize its importance in the world of science and biotechnology. As a key axis in North Carolina’s “Research Triangle” (an area anchored by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill), Raleigh is home to biotech giants including GlaxoSmithKline, BASF, Merck & Co. and, of course, Ajinomoto AminoScience.

If you’re thinking that last name isn’t quite as big as the others, think again: Japan-based Ajinomoto is an international powerhouse employing over 25,000 people worldwide. They are among the world’s largest producers of food ingredients and fine chemicals and the only U.S. producer of pharmaceutical-grade amino acids. In fact, Ajinomoto doesn’t just make pharmaceutical-grade aminos—they were the first to invent the process.

Quality production exemplified

We were greeted warmly on our visit to the Ajinomoto facilities by an entire team of representatives eager to show us their immaculate facilities and educate us on the production of superior amino acids.

Ajinomoto’s U.S. headquarters sit on 120 acres of beautiful, wooded landscape in the heart of the Research Triangle. For over 25 years this plant has produced eight pharmaceutical-grade amino acids—nearly 990 tons per year. Most of this enters the medical market as IV solutions used in hospitals and clinics or as components used in pharmaceutical preparations. But today, a small yet quickly growing portion of Ajinomoto’s output is reserved specifically for the natural health marketplace.

One aspect of Ajinomoto’s operations that truly impressed us was their commitment to the environment. The plant runs on a “Zero Emissions Program” that enables them to recover 97 percent of the waste products produced and turn them back into useful resources. The plant itself runs on methane produced by a local landfill, and all waste water is recycled so that none enters the city’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities.

AjiPure®—Pure Aminos, Naturally

om Audette and Lee Swanson (center) with Tim Osborne and Mike Lish of Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto group

With over 350 patents, Ajinomoto is truly the world’s innovator when it comes to amino acids. All AjiPure amino acids are produced through fermentation using natural raw ingredients of non-animal origin. As a result, AjiPure amino acids are 99 to 100 percent pure.

Our tour took us through every stage of production, from preparation to fermentation, filtration to final packaging. Every room was immaculate, every activity tightly controlled. As you can see from the photos, we were even given special access to the “clean rooms”—a defining characteristic of pharmaceutical-grade facilities.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone at Ajinomoto AminoScience for their hospitality, their commitment to quality and conservation, and their global contributions to health and wellness. We left Ajinomoto knowing that, without a doubt, our Swanson Ultra AjiPure amino acids will be absolutely the best amino acids in the world.

Lee Swanson signature
Ajinomoto factory

Lee Swanson tours the Ajinomoto facility with plant manager Mike Lish

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