“We have been engaged in a systematic search process to find potent high intensity sweeteners and sweetness enhancers, using proprietary natural compound libraries,” said Eckart von Haefen, president of Nutrinova. “We are now in a position to further evaluate the new substances and consider their development for market readiness.”
Nutrinova and BRAIN began their exclusive strategic collaboration in 2004 to develop natural sweetener and enhancer products. Since then, the companies have conducted extensive molecular screening programs, focusing on natural compounds derived from plant and microbial extracts.
“Health and wellness trends will continue to be a major market driver for our industry, and demand for reduced-calorie and pleasant-tasting products will continue to increase,” von Haefen said. “Successful development and market introduction of a natural sweetener that fulfills the quality and taste expectations of global food and beverage manufacturers would result in a significant expansion of the greater than US $1 billion global high intensity sweetener market and would offer Nutrinova attractive growth opportunities,” he said.
“The strategic cooperation with Nutrinova has led to promising biological compounds, which were only accessible by advanced molecular screening methods,” said Dr. Holger Zinke, CEO of BRAIN AG. “Joining forces to leverage our complementary expertise has resulted in successful progress and exciting commercial options. This is a good example of a truly modern, ‘open innovation’ R&D partnership.”
Patent applications have been filed for the screening technologies and the compounds for natural high intensity sweeteners and sweetness enhancers.
Nutrinova (a business of Celanese) is a leading international supplier of specialty ingredients for the food and beverage industries. The company invented Acesulfame K and markets this high intensity sweetener under the brand name Sunett®. Nutrinova is one of the world’s largest producers of potassium sorbate and sorbic acid. With its headquarters in Kronberg (Taunus), Germany and manufacturing in Frankfurt, Germany, Nutrinova is present in all major markets.
BRAIN is a research and development company which discovers and develops novel bioactive natural compounds and proprietary enzymes for its partners and customers in the chemical and pharmaceutical as well as the food and cosmetics industries. In a unique approach to the discovery and production of new biological compounds and biocatalysts, the company harnesses creative solutions from nature’s untapped biodiversity. Its success is built on its proprietary BioArchive comprising millions of genes, proteins and metabolic pathways from microbial isolates and metagenome libraries. BRAIN was founded in 1993, currently employs 65 highly qualified people and has developed into one of Europe’s leading white (industrial) biotech companies.