In a move to expand its presence in the natural flavor and fragrance business, BASF has acquired Isobionics and formed a cooperative agreement with Conagen. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
According to BASF, Isobionics is an innovation leader in biotechnology which is serving the global market for natural flavors and fragrances (F&F), and Conagen is a leader in biotechnology research. BASF intends to advance the technology for biotech-based aroma ingredients by combining its own R&D excellence and broad market access with the know-how and expertise of Isobionics and Conagen.
“Reflecting the potential of changing consumer habits and the scarcity of natural ingredients, the strengthening of our biotechnology footprint is at the heart of BASF’s strategy,” says Melanie Maas-Brunner, who leads BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.
“The flavor & fragrance industry is experiencing an increasing need for natural ingredients,” says Julia Raquet, who heads BASF’s Aroma Ingredients business. “But fluctuating product quality, availability and sustainability are constant challenges for our customers. By entering the market with biotechnology-based aroma ingredients, we intend to provide our customers with high-quality products to respond to the current market challenges.”
Isobionics is a biotech-based aroma ingredients company, located in Geleen, the Netherlands. The company develops and produces a wide range of natural ingredients for the F&F market with a focus on citrus oil components such as nootkatone and valencene. Isobionics, with all its employees, will become part of BASF’s Aroma Ingredients business.
“BASF is known for its high-quality standards, traceability and excellent regulatory know-how,” says Toine Janssen, founder of Isobionics. “By combining our biotech-based product portfolio and strong development pipeline with BASF’s expertise and its global market reach, we can provide the natural aroma ingredients market with even more innovations – and boost our growth.”
Cooperation agreement with Conagen
Besides acquiring Isobionics, BASF signed a cooperation agreement with Conagen, a research leader in the field of biotechnology. Through this partnership, BASF will be able to serve the market with natural vanillin, one of the aroma ingredients with the highest market demand.
The natural vanillin that BASF initially markets is based on ferulic acid sourced from rice and therefore named Natural Vanillin F. With its clean vanillin character, Natural Vanillin F is ideal for all flavor applications, such as chocolate, strawberry and caramel, while maintaining an “all-natural” labeling.
Conagen has strong R&D and commercialization capabilities for fermented ingredients. Fermentation is an ancient cultural technique well known from processes like brewing beer and baking bread. It uses microorganisms like e.g. bacteria or fungi to convert one substance into another.
Moreover, BASF’s Nutrition & Health division recently established a global business unit dedicated to the research and production of enzymes, which can be used as natural processing aids or ingredients for a large variety of applications in food, feed and technical industries.