Celbius JV Zembra launches Zlug, a new slug barrier
Slugs are becoming an ever-greater threat to gardeners with the recent appearance of species such as the Spanish Slug. Zembra (www.zembragroup.com)has developed Zlug®, a new natural slug barrier to combat the damage caused by slugs in the garden and in crop fields. The effectiveness of the product, which is fully biodegradable, was shown in trials at the John Innes Centre near Norwich. It acts as a barrier to deter slugs and snails from eating plants, and is safe for pets, birds and children. Zlug® is available in 6L bags from Amazon and soon in other UK retailers.
- Blended mixture of aromatic plants designed as a natural barrier for slugs and snails.
- Contains 100% natural, safe and sustainable ingredients, with no other chemical additives.
- Proven to be effective against the damage caused by slugs and snails through research and development carried out at the John Innes Centre.
- Fully biodegradable, acts as a soil conditioning mulch.
- Friendly to earthworms. Proven by testing at the John Innes Centre, where no adverse effects were seen.
- Shelf life in unopened bags of no less than one year.
- Applied as a top dressing around plants or tubs.
- The photograph below shows how effective Zlug® can be when snails were presented with a choice of food, with one source protected by Zlug®.
Zembra signs Letter of Intent with Aqua Bio Technology
Zembra Ltd and Aqua Bio Technology ASA of Norway have signed a letter of intent for the commercialization of products from olive oil production. Based on a license agreement, ABT will initiate product development aimed at offering sustainable technology and products to the cosmetics industry.
Zembra has identified several applications for biomass from the production of olive oil. The olive residue is traditionally considered as waste. However, the potential value of the material is now being recognized. Zembra has identified several new applications, such as horticultural soil conditioning, biofuel and olive oil biomass used as a hand cleaning agent. According to the letter of intent, ABT will start a testing procedure in order to establish the potential of Zembra’s substance in skin care products. More specifically, ABT will investigate the exfoliating properties of olive oil biomass, i.e. the ability to remove dead skin cells. If proven successful, olive oil biomass might replace the small plastic beads often used in skin care products today. These beads are not sustainable and represent an increasing environmental problem, as they accumulate in the oceans after being washed off into the sewers. The collaboration with ABT reflects Zembra’s strategy for developing new products by partnership with third parties. Over the coming months, ABT will carry out testing of Zembra’s products in order to establish its safety profile and efficacy in relation to skin care applications. The agreement does not include any initial payments. ABT will carry the costs related to the testing of Zembra’s technology for skin care applications, and Zembra will receive payments when the product has reached commercial use. The letter of intent with Zembra is ABT’s second in-licensing agreement this year.
Celbius and Sheffield University awarded a Business Interaction Voucher
Low power ultrasound can affect the performance of many different fermentation processes. Celbius, in collaboration with Dr Jagroop Pandhal at the University of Sheffield, is investigating the effects of sonication on the expression and activity of certain proteins in E. coli. This organism is a work-horse of the biotechnology industry, and responsible for the production of many proteins for pharmaceuticals and biocatalysis. The collaboration was established via Celbius’ membership of the CBMNet (Crossing Biological Membranes), a BBSRC NIBB, and the work will be funded through the award of a Business Interaction Voucher.
Celbius and John Innes Centre awarded proof of concept grant
Celbius and the John Innes Centre have been awarded a grant for £54,342 by the NPRONET NIBB to investigate the effects of ultrasonication on secondary metabolism in a project that will run until June 2016. Secondary metabolites are of enormous commercial importance, and are formed by bacterial and fungal fermentation. Many antibiotics are produced in this manner. The project, led by Dr Andy Truman at the John Innes Centre, will investigate whether secondary metabolite pathways may be up regulated or otherwise modified for beneficial effect through the application of low power ultrasound during the fermentation.