Ginkgo Bioworks new partnerships focus on enzyme production

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ginkgo Bioworks new partnerships focus on enzyme production
In recent days the biotech company has announced deals with two enzyme producing businesses. While the bulk of what these companies develop and make will be directed to the food industry, there are implications and opportunities here for cosmetics and personal care too.

Ginkgo has partnered separately with both Swissaustral and Kerry to produce enzymes for industry. The Kerry business is squarely situated in food: “Our company has long been focused on using science and technology to make our processes, ingredients and products better,”​ explains Dr. Albert McQuaid, chief technology and innovation officer at Kerry, in a media release about that company’s new partnership with Ginkgo.

He goes on to say that “Ginkgo Bioworks has a technology platform that we haven't seen in the enzyme industry before now and we look forward to leveraging their technology to improve the work we're doing with enzymes in the food industry.”

With Swissaustral, some of the enzymes Ginkgo works on may end up being used in personal care and cosmetic product production.

Process applications

The enzymes that Swissaustral and Ginkgo will be working on “will be used as a safe, low-energy replacement for traditional chemical reaction processes in [industry],”​ according to a press release about the companies’ new partnership. The company specializes in this sort of enzyme: “For example, one of Swissaustral's enzymes, Catalase, breaks down hydrogen peroxide for textiles wastewater bio-remediation, food preservation, and personal care applications.”

Together, Swissaustral and Ginkgo believe they can advance and scale the biotech production of such enzymes  better than either company could on its own. “Teaming up with Ginkgo Bioworks enables us to more rapidly reach industrial markets with our enzymes," ​affirms Felipe Sarmiento, Swissaustral's business innovation director for North America, in the release. "Ginkgo's expansive platform technology and expertise are the missing pieces needed to unlock the potential of our extremophilic enzymes for improving industrial processes."

Beauty pro

Regular readers of Cosmetics Design already know that Ginkgo is involved with several biotech projects of great value to beauty industry. Just this May, in partnership with fragrance maker Robertet the company announced that they’re now able to produce fragrance notes on a commercial scale.  

“We are thrilled to be working with Ginkgo on the next generation of flavor and fragrance ingredients," ​Bob Weinstein, president of Robertet Ingredients and CEO of Robertet USA, said in a press release about the biotech achievement. “We're proud to have reached this milestone in commercial scale fermentation and to continue developing innovative ingredients in the future,” ​added Weinstein. Read more about that partnership here​.

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