Fermentation is prized for bringing incredible flavors to life, whether it’s in wine or beer, cheese, kimchi, chocolate, or more. Recently, fermentation has also been used to make cultured ingredients for the flavor and fragrance industry, enabling the production of delicious, renewable, and accessible products.
Many treasured flavors and fragrances are extracted from botanical sources, which can be costly and resource intensive, putting pressure on natural biodiversity. Moreover, fluctuations in supply due to weather or other unpredictable events can lead to dramatic changes in the cost of important ingredients. Cultured ingredients brewed by engineered yeasts in a setting similar to a microbrewery can provide a more stable supply of products for the flavor and fragrance industry.
Gene sequences responsible for producing the unique flavors and fragrances of plants and other organisms can be synthesized and engineered into the genomes of yeasts. As these engineered yeasts grow and ferment sugars, they produce the fragrance and flavor compounds which can then be purified from the yeast.
Working with our partner Robertet and others, we’ve developed flavor and fragrance ingredients and brought them to commercial scale. To learn more about how process techniques developed in our foundry translated to fermentation at 50,000 liter scale, click here.
Cultured ingredients offer a third way for manufacturing valuable flavor and fragrance ingredients that is more renewable than chemical synthesis via petroleum and more stable and efficient than extraction from botanical sources.