Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) is commonly used to stabilize some proteins during reactions, and can also prevent adhesion to reaction tubes and pipette surfaces. We understand that there is an increased need for comparable performance using BSA-free reagents, and are excited to announce that NEB is transitioning our enzyme formulations to contain rAlbumin instead of BSA. All NEBuffers contain rAlbumin.

We anticipate that this switch may take several years to complete. We feel that moving away from animal-containing products is a step in the right direction and are able to offer this enhancement at the same price.

What does this mean for you?

As each enzyme transitions, the change will be clearly indicated in the following ways:

  • Notification will be included on the trading card supplied with your Enzyme

  • Datacard_Changes_rAlbumin

  • A message will be included in the “Specifications and Change Notification” tab on the product webpage - the message will indicate the starting lot number that contains rAlbumin. Please note that all higher lots numbers will also contain rAlbumin.

  • Webchanges_rAlbumin

Key points to remember

  • Use of rAlbumin in enzyme formulation enables them to be used in situations where BSA-free reagents are required
  • The catalog number will not change when an enzyme is reformatted with rAlbumin
  • There is no difference in enzyme performance when using an enzyme formulated with BSA versus rAlbumin, either can be used in your reaction
  • Certificates of Analysis, Certificates of Origin and Specifications will be updated to reflect the change
  • If you have any questions, please contact us at


What is Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)?

Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) (NEB #B9200) is a non-bovine derived albumin that can serve as an alternative to Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA). Like BSA, it has been shown to prevent adhesion of enzymes to reaction tubes and pipette surfaces. It also stabilizes some proteins during incubation. Choose Recombinant Albumin when there is a need to avoid BSA.

Why is NEB switching to enzyme formulations and buffers containing Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)? 

In addition to being animal-free, a recombinant source of albumin offers increased consistency and purity. It eliminates sources of contamination and decreases lot-to-lot variability.

Is there a performance difference between buffers and enzyme formulations containing BSA and buffers containing Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin)?

NEB has rigorously tested the performance between BSA- and rAlbumin-containing buffers and enzyme formulations (NEB #B9200). We have not seen a difference in enzyme performance when using either. Rest assured, you can continue to use either version for your experiments.

ClaI (NEB #R0197) restriction endonuclease was formulated with BSA or Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin). Each of these formulations was tested using either A. CutSmart (contains BSA) or B. rCutSmart (contains rAlbumin) Buffer. Serial dilutions of ClaI were tested using Lambda DNA and the recommended assay conditions, followed by analysis using agarose gel electrophoresis. M is marker 1 kb Plus DNA Ladder (NEB #N3200). ClaI activity is the same in all formulation conditions tested. These representative data demonstrate equal performance between BSA and rAlbumin when used in both enzyme formulation and reaction buffer.

Can I continue to use the enzyme formulations containing BSA?

Yes, since there is no difference in enzyme performance when using NEBuffers or enzymes formulations containing BSA or Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) (NEB #B9200), you can continue to use either. Please note that by the end of 2021, we will no longer supply BSA-containing buffers.

I currently manage an NEB Freezer Program. What does this change mean for me?

Beginning in April 2021, you will start to see products containing NEBuffers with Recombinant Albumin (rAlbumin) (NEB #B9200) in your shipments. Beginning in July 2021, you will start to see enzyme formulations containing rAlbumin.  Since there is no difference in enzyme performance, you can continue to include both products containing BSA or rAlbumin in the freezer; there will not be a catalog number change with these changes. 


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