Conagen adds over 20 non-gmo lactones to its portfolio

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Biotech firm Conagen adds over 20 non-gmo lactones to its portfolio of fragrance ingredients

Related tags Fragrance Fragrance ingredients biotech lactone non gmo

On Monday, the Boston, Massachusetts – based biotech company announced the commercialization of over 20 new lactones. The technology behind Conagen’s new aromatic compound allows for a wide range of creamy stone-fruit notes that are expected to add value to products in the food, pharma, and fragrance industries.

Privately held Conagen got its start in 2010 and is focused on using synthetic biology for commercial scale production of molecules. The company’s bio-based production platforms generate specialty chemicals / ingredients for industries such as food and beverage, flavors and fragrance, medical and pharma, animal feed, and more.

A science advisory board

At the end of May, Conagen installed a new board of advisors. The company’s writeup of the new board explains that “The SAB [science advisory board] will work with Conagen's leadership while the company builds upon the best science available to deliver the highest quality products serving the business-to-business markets of nature-based non-caloric sweeteners, flavors and fragrances, nutritional products, food preservatives, and others.”

And Oliver Yu, co-founder and CEO of Conagen, commented that, “We appreciate the great contributions from our previous scientific advisors. We are honored and privileged to have the expertise of our illustrious new SAB members dedicated to advancing Conagen's product development efforts.”

The new board comprises Pamela Silver, who’s the Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Harvard University Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, serving as chair; as well as Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology, Eran Pichersky of the University of Michigan, Joseph Jez of Washington University in St. Louis, and Timothy Lu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Several new scents

As part of Monday’s announcement of the γ-Decalactone product, Yu said, “The strengthening and expansion of Conagen's lactone production platform will better meet consumers' demand for nature-based, clean ingredients.”

The company’s biotech products are not  considered to be genetically modified and also meet criteria to be called natural, as Casey Lippmeier, VP of R&D at Conagen emphasizes in his remarks to the press: “Conagen's lactone products are natural and non-GMO, making them ideal for use in a variety of consumer products.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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