BASF Boosts Aroma Ingredients
BASF has boosted its aroma ingredients business through two deals – an acquisition of Dutch flavor and fragrance company Isobionics and a partnership agreement with US synthetic biotechnology company Conagen.
The purchase of Isobionics has given the German group entry into the market for natural flavor and fragrance ingredients. Based in Geleen, the Netherlands, Isobionics develops and manufactures a wide range of natural ingredients with a focus on citrus oil components such as nootkatone and valencene.
“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,” said Toine Janssen, founder of Isobionics.
According to Julia Raquet, head of BASF’s Aroma Ingredients business, the flavor and fragrance industry is seeing a growing need for natural ingredients and is facing constant challenges relating to fluctuating product quality, availability and sustainability.
With regard to the Conagen cooperation, BASF said this arrangement will allow it to serve the market with natural vanillin, one of the aroma ingredients with the highest market demand. It will initially market Natural Vanillin F, which is based on ferulic acid sourced from rice and is said to be ideal for flavor applications such as chocolate, strawberry and caramel while also maintaining an “all-natural” labeling.
Based in Bedford, Massachusetts, Conagen has strong R&D and commercialization capabilities for fermented products. Fermentation, which uses microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi to convert one substance into another, is well known in processes for brewing beer and baking bread, for example.
Additionally, BASF noted that its Nutrition & Health division has recently set up 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 number of applications in food, feed and technical industries.
In separate news, BASF has expanded capacity by 10,000 t/y for neopentyl glycol (NPG) at Ludwigshafen, Germany, taking its worldwide output to 215,000 t/y.
The company also operates NPG plants in Freeport, USA, and Nanjing and Jilin in China.
An expansion in Nanjing is currently underway with a further 40,000 t/y anticipated to be available from 2020.
NPG is used in various applications, especially in the production of polyester and alkyd resins for coatings and plastics.