There is a growing demand for xylitol due to global campaigns that fight obesity and protect children’s oral health. This natural sweetener is a great replacement to high-fructose corn syrup and sugar. It features anti-microbial and anti-cavity properties, low glycemic levels and reduces overall calories of a food or beverage product.
To meet the needs of the market, Canada-based Creatus Biosciences has signed a purchase agreement with Virdia to take charge of the end-to-end production of xylitol. This partnership lets Creatus acquire all IP assets of Virdia’s technology, which involves fermentation from biomass.
The low-cost process involves converting lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars and lignin. This allows Creatus to produce xylitol from waste feedstock, and integrate it in its patented mixed sugar yeast.
“It is exciting to continue the work of Virdia, whose development of its platform has resulted in high quality fermentable sugars not seen in traditional hydrolysate technologies,” says Dara Djafarian, President of Creatus Biosciences. “By combining this process with Creatus’ highly productive xylitol-producing yeast, we enable the transition from chemical to bio-based production of xylitol, bringing it in line with attractive cost-improvements and sustainability focus of other bio-based polyols,” Mr. Djafarian concludes.
“We are pleased with our agreement with Creatus as our collaboration in the past has been very successful. We see great potential in the integration of the two technology platforms, and our efforts to pass on the value creation from the Virdia technology platform are fully in line with Stora Enso’s business strategy,” says Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division.
Currently, 65% of xylitol is used in chewing gum, but has seen steady adoption in the confectionary and pharmaceutical industry.