50+ Strains: Why We Supply
- Mike King
- May 4, 2018
Part of what is driving Microbial Discovery Group’s (MDG) current expansion is our desire to produce 50+ strains. Why do we want to be a Bacillus company that produces 50+ strains? Essentially: to offer the best service and products for our customers. Below are the three main reasons why our drive to produce 50+ strains is fueling our expansion.
- MDG’s belief in multi-strain product offerings
- The current Bacillus strain renaissance
- Competitive advantage
MDG’s belief in multi-strain product offerings
At MDG, we like adding a lot of strains to our products. With so many wonderful strains in our library, it is way too hard to only put one or two of them in our wastewater, bioremediation, Jan-San or landfill products. We like making 6 or 7 strain products, with each strain being complementary to each other rather than copies of one another. We do this to ensure success of our products. For example, when these strains hit a wastewater lagoon, who knows what substrates, temperatures, oxygen and pH conditions they will find. You must be prepared with a broad and complementary team of strains. Because of this, we need the ability to grow a lot of different strains. Expansion was necessary to ensure our ability to continue to create dynamic, robust products for our customers.
The current Bacillus strain renaissance
In my opinion, we are witnessing a Bacillus renaissance. Bacillus has been used for decades, but only just now do I see the world waking up to the fact that every Bacillus strain is different. I always say, “strain to see the strains,” and now, people are actually seeing the strains and not treating all Bacillus as though they are the same. If you combine this with the rush to the finish line with the next best antibiotic alternative, the awakening of Bacillus use occurring in human probiotics, and continued demand for Bacillus in the plant biopesticide market–everyone has their own strain now. I believe this is good and makes for better products to solve the world’s problems. However, what’s good for the goose isn’t always what’s good for the gander. For the growers with only one fermentor, the increase in demand can create a long waitlist. To combat this problem and reduce wait times, we have built 3 fermentation tanks, with space for a future 4th tank. This allows MDG to grow, let’s say 4-6 strains per week (due to the fact that we grow each strain individually). As a toll or contract Bacillus manufacturer, competitive advantage is found in being able to grow a lot of different strains per week.
I find a lot of companies struggle when they grow too many Bacillus strains as it increases their odds of contamination. They would prefer to run the same strain over and over again, so if there is a tad bit of contamination, it will be the same strain. With our quality standards and certifications, we don’t have the luxury of thinking that way. For us, every batch must be run clean from start to finish. We have gotten amazingly good at running clean, regardless of the previous strain. We are using this to our benefit and it has become our competitive advantage. Bring us your strain: we can grow it clean. We DNA verify everything we do, and we are proud of the quality of our output. It also allows us to grow a lot of different strains within a year.
In summary, our multiple strain products, the Bacillus renaissance, and competitive advantage are the main reasons we are becoming a company that produces 50+ strains per year. While a different mindset from most, we believe we can use this philosophy to best help more customers.
Let us know how we might be able to serve you. Contact us.