Vitamin D3 Main Manufacturers and Production Processes

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vitamin D3 500 feed grade ZMC

1. Brief introduction to vitamin d3

Vitamin d3 is also known as cholecalciferol. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, CAS 67-97-0, molecular formula C27H44O, molecular weight 384.64. Vitamin d3 can be synthesized naturally in the human body. Human skin contains a kind of 7-dehydrocholesterol, which becomes vitamin D3 after exposure to sunlight, so some people call it the sun vitamin. But now people generally lack sunshine, which causes the deficiency of vitamin D3 to some extent. In addition, vitamin D3 can also come from animal foods, such as livers, especially rich in cod liver oil extracted from fish livers.

Vitamin d3 is mainly used in feed, medicine, and food, with the feed sector accounting for the largest share, more than 80%. Its specific products are vitamin d3 oil, vitamin d3 powder, and vitamin d3 crystal.

2. Physiological functions of vitamin d3

a. Improve the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus, so that the plasma calcium and plasma phosphorus levels reach the saturation level.

b. Promote growth and bone calcification and sound teeth.

c. Increasing phosphorus absorption through the intestinal wall and increasing phosphorus reabsorption through the renal tubules.

d. Maintaining normal levels of citrate in the blood.

e. Prevent the loss of amino acids through the kidneys.

3. Major manufacturers of vitamin d3

The major manufacturers of vitamin d3 in the world include Zhejiang Garden Biochemical High-tech Co., Ltd, Zhejiang NHU Co., Ltd, Xiamen Kingdomway Group, Taizhou Hisound Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, DSM, and Fermenta Biotech Ltd.

Zhejiang Garden Biochemical High-tech Co., Ltd is the world’s largest producer of vitamin d3, with approximately 30% market share. Established in December 2000, it is a national high-tech enterprise, a national high-tech industrialization demonstration project, and a national comprehensive resource utilization project. The company was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange GEM on October 9, 2014, with stock code 300401.

Zhejiang NHU Co., Ltd was founded in 1999 and listed in 2004 (stock code 002001). It is one of the world’s leading vitamin manufacturers, with products covering vitamin a, vitamin e, vitamin D3, biotin, and coenzyme q10.

vitamin d3 500 feed grade is ready to ship

Founded in November 1997, Xiamen Kingdomway Group is a key high-tech enterprise of the National Torch Plan and an innovative pilot enterprise. The company was listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange on October 28, 2011 (stock code: 002626) and is a comprehensive vitamin manufacturer, one of the major producers of vitamin D3, and the world’s largest producer of coenzyme Q10.

Founded in 2000, Taizhou Hisound Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd is a joint-stock enterprise established with Zhejiang Xianju Pharmaceutical Co. The company is located in Linhai Park, the chemical raw material base of Zhejiang Province, covering an area of about 20,000 square meters, specializing in the production of vitamin D2, and D3 series products.

4. Production process of vitamin D3

4.1 Production process of vitamin d3

The raw material for vitamin D3 is lanolin. Then, NF cholesterol (lanolin cholesterol with a purity of more than 95%, the main raw material for vitamin D3 production) is extracted from lanolin. After a series of reactions, we get 7-dehydrocholesterol. Then vitamin d3 is produced through light and thermal isomerization, as shown in the figure below.

vitamin d3 manufacturing process

4.2 Manufacturing process of NF cholesterol

The extraction technology of NF cholesterol is complex, and the lanolin is subjected to the core technology processes of “transesterification, molecular distillation, complexation, and crystallization” to obtain cholesterol with high purity. The main production and sales companies in the world are Nippon Fine Chemical Co., Ltd, NK Chemicals Pte Ltd (Singapore), and Fermenta Biotech Ltd. Later, Zhejiang Garden mastered the technology of making NF cholesterol through molecular distillation. Specifically, their production processes are different.

4.2.1 Column separation production method

The main representative enterprise is Fermenta Biotech Ltd, the key production technology is column separation technology, and the raw material is lanolin alcohol. NF cholesterol was obtained by enriching cholesterol through crude lanolin alcohol column and further purifying it. The advantage lies in less investment, while the disadvantage is a large amount of solvent, high energy consumption, and high solvent consumption.

4.2.2 Extraction production method

The main representative enterprises are Nippon Fine Chemical and NK Chemicals, the key production technology is extraction technology, and the raw material is lanolin. Through saponification of wool crude fat, cholesterol was separated step by step by extraction technology. The advantage is that the investment is relatively low, and the disadvantage is that the yield of cholesterol is low, but because the raw material is crude lanolin, the overall cost is slightly lower than that of Fermenta Biotech.

4.2.3 Molecular distillation

The main representative of the enterprise is Zhejiang Garden, with lanolin as the raw material. This process uses advanced molecular distillation technology and mixed solvent separation technology. Firstly, cholesterol is dissociated from lanoic acid cholesterol by transesterification, then crude cholesterol is obtained by molecular distillation, and refined NF cholesterol is obtained after purification and crystallization. The joint research is developed by Zhejiang Garden and Zhejiang University, which is at the leading level in China. Compared with the above two production processes, this method has the advantages of high product quality, strong raw material adaptability, low production cost, short process, low consumption, less pollution, and so on.

5. Summary.

Some vitamin D3 manufacturers are large, some are small. The vast majority of vitamin d3 is used in feed, with high industrial concentration and technical barriers. Among them, NF cholesterol is the key raw material, and Zhejiang Garden has both advantages in scale and technology.

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