Kemin Industries

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Kemin Industries is a privately held, family-owned and operated global nutritional ingredient company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. Dr. Chris Nelson is the President and CEO. Kemin uses applied science to provide products and services that help improve the quality, safety and efficacy of food, feed and health-related products.[1]

Kemin has more than 2,000 global employees and operates in 90 countries including manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

Industries served[edit]

  • Animal nutrition and health
  • Pet food and rendering technologies
  • Food technologies, including extending food shelf life
  • Human nutrition and health, including dietary ingredients, vitamins
  • Personal care
  • Biofuel[2]
  • Crop technologies

Company history[edit]

Kemin was founded by R.W. and Mary Nelson in 1961.[3] The founders’ initial goal was to develop innovative agricultural products and market them throughout the Midwestern United States. These early products, including mold inhibitors and flavors, quickly grew to encompass a full line of ingredients for animal feed that was sold nationwide. By the late 1960s, Kemin was exporting products to distributors in Holland and Spain. Within five years, growing demand for Kemin products justified a European sales and production site, which was established in Herentals, Belgium in 1970.

During the 1980s, Kemin expanded beyond the animal feed industry into the human food industry. The same chemistry used to manufacture mold inhibitors and antimicrobials for animal feed was also effective at inhibiting mold and bacteria in human food. By 1992, Kemin began applying its antioxidant expertise into the pet food industry.

In 1988, a second international headquarters was established in Singapore. In 1994, Kemin opened manufacturing and sales operations in Zhuhai, China. Two years later, Kemin established operations in Chennai, India. Due to expansion, manufacturing later moved to Gummidipundi, two hours outside of Chennai.

The company’s first human division — human nutrition and health — demerged in 1995 when Kemin introduced FloraGLO Lutein. With a team marketing and selling Kemin and FloraGLO to vitamin and dietary supplement manufacturers, Kemin became a market-leader in lutein.[citation needed]

The lutein model was adopted for other markets and Kemin demerged its second division, focused on developing patented molecules for the pharmaceutical industry, in 1997. Shortly thereafter, a new division serving the pet food industry was formed in 2000, and then another division serving the food industry was created in 2004.

In 2004, Kemin purchased a manufacturing facility and administration building in Indaiatuba, Brazil to manage the company’s operations in South America. Kemin launched another division to expand into the global personal care industry.[citation needed]

In 2017, Kemin opened a headquarters building in Des Moines, Iowa[4] and a manufacturing facility in Lipetsk, Russia.


  1. ^ "Kemin Industries, Inc". Private Company Information - Bloomberg. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  2. ^ "Kemin and REG team up in biodiesel research". Business Record. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  3. ^ "Kemin Food Technologies". Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  4. ^ "Can Kemin help revive Des Moines' floundering agribusiness park?". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2017-09-21.