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Evonik's Chester Performance Silica Plant Achieves U.S. Milestone

April 23, 2009
Evonik Degussa Corp.’s precipitated performance silica plant in Chester, Pennsylvania, now meets the standards of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) food safety regulations.

Silliker Inc. Auditing Services of Homewood, Illinois, a third-party auditing firm, last month certified that the Chester facilities meet FDA standards, noting that facility personnel were professional and “the quality programs are well organized and written.”

“The plant’s GMP certification reflects Evonik’s continued commitment to ensuring quality and satisfaction to customers,” said Jack L. Clem, senior vice president, North America for Evonik Industries’ Inorganic Materials Business Unit.

“Receiving the GMP designation is an impressive achievement,” Clem added. “It is an extraordinary accomplishment by our dedicated employees. It opens up potential new markets for our Chester operation.”

The FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice regulations require manufacturers, processors, and packagers of drugs, medical devices, and some food to take proactive steps to ensure that their products are safe, pure, and effective.

According to Johnny Covey, vice president of production and technology for Evonik’s North America Inorganic Materials business, Evonik spent more than $500,000 at the site to achieve the GMP food safety designation. “We’ve made a substantial commitment of capital and personnel to become GMP certified,” Covey said. "Our emphasis on improving process, quality, and performance capabilities not only keeps us ahead of the industry but also enables us to offer the best value possible to our customers.”

GMP regulations require a quality approach to manufacturing to minimize or eliminate contamination, mix-ups, and errors. “This helps to protect the consumer from purchasing a product which is not effective or possibly dangerous,” Covey said. “GMP status means our products can be safely used in the ‘food chain.’ Chester may be the first fully compliant precipitated silica plant in the U.S.”

Evonik’s facility in Chester employs about 50 and manufactures SIPERNAT precipitated performance silica, a key ingredient in a variety of products. Thanks to SIPERNAT products, drink mixes dissolve better, seasonings are easier to prepare, and powders flow more smoothly during production and use.

For more information, visit www.evonik.com.