From humble roots, Megazyme has thrived to become a pioneer in the testing of enzymes for industries worldwide. The company triumphed in the Innovator category at the Small Firms Association’s National Small Business Awards last week.
When your mother told you to eat your porridge, she was on to something. In the Eighties, Dr Barry McCleary, founder, CEO and technical director of research-based biochemical company Megazyme, developed a method to test for the presence of a polysaccharide called beta-glucan: the very chemical that makes oats a healthy foodstuff. His method is now the world standard.
Megazyme started life in two garages off the family home of McCleary, and a healthy appetite for innovation and growth brought it to Bray via Sydney in 1996.
The company now focuses on the development of pioneering test methods in kit form for the measurement of components that dictate food and beverage quality.
“In the past five years, we have developed, from first principles, 54 food test kits that have either been absolutely novel, or have been a major improvement on similar products offered by major multinationals.
“We are leading the world in methods development for measurement of dietary fibre and parameters that dictate wine and cereal quality.
“All of the major enzyme manufacturers turn to Megazyme for reagents for the standardisation of their commercial products and for enzyme discovery,” says McCleary.
What drives this constant innovation push is both the desire to capture an all-important global market and the strategy of plighting back profits into new research. In the past four years, the company has grown by 20pc year on year.