Celbius has developed a new multi-step biological /biotechnology route for the production of 2-phenylethanol (2PE) using state-of-the-art synthetic biology. 2PE is an aromatic alcohol with rose-like odour and is widely used in the food, drink and cosmetic industry. 2PE occurs widely in nature, being found in a variety of essential oils, including rose, carnation, hyacinth, orange blossom, geranium, neroli, jasmine, narcissi and lilies. In most cases, concentrations are too low to justify extraction.
Its pleasant floral odour means it is a common ingredient in flavours and perfumery, particularly when the smell of rose is desired. It is also used as a preservative in soaps due to its stability in basic conditions. In biology it is of interest due to its antimicrobial properties.
Most of the world’s annual production of several thousand tons is synthesized by harsh chemical processes using petrochemical derived materials and metal catalysts. Due to increasing demand for natural flavours, alternative biological and natural production methods are being sought.
The Celbius patented route involves utilization of a number of proprietary biocatalysts and can start from simple sugars but more typically bulk L-phenylalanine which is derived from sugars via fermentation.
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