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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.

Data breakout

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.

Read the full impact evidence report:

Natural grapefruit flavouring from industrial biotechnology (PDF 222KB)

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