Researchers from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), along side trade counterparts, have pooled efforts to make use of biocatalysis – a inexperienced manufacturing methodology – to assist develop new manufacturing processes and merchandise for the beauty, biopharmaceutical and industrial biologics markets, in addition to others.
Essential oils and aroma chemical substances producer Puris Natural Aroma Chemicals, one of many firms that was capable of entry the experience and specialised amenities for technical product and course of help by South Africa’s first Industrial Biocatalysis Hub (IBH) – hosted at the CSIR – will quickly have the ability to implement a high-value area of interest perfume expertise owing to the collaborative effort.
“The biocatalytic software of an historical recipe to supply a invaluable perfume ingredient is making nice strides. The proprietary mental property of the CSIR used on this course of reveals a lot promise.
“This sought-after perfume ingredient may also create alternatives for agricultural manufacturing of plant materials,” Puris Natural Aroma Chemicals government chairperson Dr Gerhard Niemand mentioned, talking at the biennial two-day CSIR Conference, in Pretoria, on November 3.
Additionally, Puris lately developed a product named caramel furanone, also referred to as sotolon. This pure aroma compound – which normally smells like curry at excessive concentrations, or like maple syrup, caramel or burnt sugar at decrease concentrations – was optimised by the IBH crew and is now in full-scale business manufacturing.
Niemand mentioned the excessive odour impression molecule discovered a spread of meals flavouring purposes inside a rising market demand.
“The availability of a nationwide industrial biocatalysis facility is most tasty. CSIR scientific know-how enhances that of Puris and, thereby, bigger and extra advanced initiatives might be tackled. In addition, CSIR pilot plant amenities with skilled operators are invaluable – one thing that small, medium-sized and microenterprises principally can not afford,” Niemand mentioned.
Since inception, the IBH has collaborated with three firms. This has resulted in a number of product traces, which embody an insect repellent product line that required the elimination of agricultural residue in citrus oil; area of interest flavour and perfume compounds; and a pharmaceutical intermediate.
Products beforehand produced by the CSIR’s biocatalysis group embody changing a compound in an aloe plant right into a pores and skin lightening product and utilizing lemons to supply an economical and ecofriendly disinfectant/biocide product, which has now been recognised and registered with the European Union.
“While we’ve supported three firms by means of making our well-equipped amenities and experience in biocatalysis accessible to our trade companions, we’re trying ahead to supporting many extra trade gamers in bettering their product manufacturing processes,” says CSIR principal researcher and IBH programme supervisor Dr Lucia Steenkamp.
The IBH, which was commissioned and funded by the Department of Science and Innovation, alongside the Technology Innovation Agency, has additionally prolonged its footprint to 5 college nodes at Rhodes University, Fort Hare University, University of the Free-State, University of the Western Cape and the University of the Witwatersrand.
Through the hub’s relationship with these tutorial establishments, South Africa’s human capital pipeline might be outfitted with experience in biocatalysis, thereby constructing and strengthening native biocatalysis functionality.
“We have been working with the hub’s college nodes in harnessing pure enzymes and microbes to help trade in manufacturing and upscaling high-value merchandise, equivalent to flavours and fragrances, meals components, organic medical merchandise, cosmetics and dietary dietary supplements.
“We additionally acknowledge that a part of our position as South Africa’s solely IBH is to supply mentoring and coaching initiatives for college kids and rising researchers in order that we will strengthen the nation’s biocatalysis functionality and contribute in the direction of constructing an inclusive bioeconomy,” Steenkamp mentioned.
He added that, as a part of constructing homegrown biocatalysis experience, the IBH has recruited 4 interns and one postdoctoral pupil. He mentioned that recruiting interns and postdoctorates would develop the biocatalysis capability at the CSIR and put together researchers for uptake within the manufacturing trade or for additional research in biocatalysis.
“When I joined the IBH, I didn’t have any industrial expertise. I’ve grown loads since I joined and proceed to develop day by day. I’ve managed to make use of the talents I had gained throughout my time period as an instructional and proceed so as to add onto these expertise with all of the initiatives I’m concerned in at the IBH,” mentioned trainee and postdoctoral fellow Dr Moloko Mathipa-Mdakane, who has labored on a number of initiatives at the IBH.