Natural grapefruit flavouring from industrial biotechnology
University of Oxford researchers have found a way to produce grapefruit flavouring from orange oil, using an enzyme, thanks to funding from EPSRC and BBSRC. Spin-out company Oxford Biotrans expects the first product containing this flavouring to be on the market in 2018.
|20 tonnes||Worldwide annual market for grapefruit flavouring|
|400,000kg||Grapefruit needed to produce 1kg of flavouring|
|£5.2M||Investment received by Oxford Biotrans|
|12||Jobs created at the Oxford-based company work|
Grapefruit flavouring is in high demand but short supply. It can be produced synthetically from more plentiful orange oil, but this process requires a high energy input and generates toxic by-products. The new process is more environmentally sustainable and produces flavouring that can be labelled ‘natural’ under EU regulations, making it preferable to consumers.
Oxford Biotrans has received £5.2 million in private investment and employs 12 people. The company is now working on producing other useful products using their enzyme technology.
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