To answer the need for more sustainable food colorants, fine chemicals company DIC Corporation is going into a partnership with California-based Debut Biotechnology. Their primary purpose is to manufacture biodegradable color pigments to replace petroleum-based variants in the market today.
In general, this has been a difficult task to carry out as certain challenges are inherent whenever one extracts from natural items such as plants or flowers. Besides commercialization challenges, overall waste generation, land and water usage, and other environmental concern make it hard and costly to accomplish.
To address these concerns, DIC will be adopting Debut Biotech’s next-generation continuous cell-free biomanufacturing technology. This process will allow one to retain enzymes and other necessary parts of the cells, and discard those that are irrelevant. It keeps vital enzymes in optimal conditions, resulting in better chemical reactions and high purity in the yield. This allows companies then to produce biomaterials and other active ingredients.
Debut, CEO Joshua Britton said, “With our advanced cell-free biomanufacturing platform, we’re able to produce color ingredients that are simply not possible with traditional fermentation-based biomanufacturing. Our colors are naturally-derived with a fraction of the inputs—less waste and energy—and without the use of petrochemicals. With this approach, we’re able to take on a level of complexity that creates whole new possibilities for the color ingredient landscape across industries. We’re thrilled to be working with DIC as they’re established leaders in the color ingredients industry.”
DIC Managing Executive Officer Kiyofumi Takano said, “DIC hopes to combine Debut’s advanced knowledge of enzyme reactions and process design with DIC’s scale-up technology, quality control, and product development capabilities to develop and commercialize new sustainable, high value-added bio-based colorants, pigments, and healthy foods for global markets.”