Google Play icon

Sustainable way to make a prized fragrance ingredient

Share
Posted December 20, 2012

Large amounts of a substitute for one of the world’s most treasured fragrance ingredients — a substance that also has potential anti-cancer activity — could be produced with a sustainable new technology, scientists are reporting. Published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the advance enables cultures of bacteria to produce a substitute for natural ambergris, which sells for hundreds of dollars an ounce.

Laurent Daviet, Michel Schalk and colleagues explain that ambergris, a waxy substance excreted by sperm whales, has been prized as a fragrance ingredient for centuries. Ambergris has a pleasant sweet and earthy scent of its own, and it enhances other scents in high-end perfumes. With sperm whales an endangered species, and natural ambergris not used in perfumes in the U.S., perfume makers have turned to substitutes. One is made from sclareol, obtained from the Clary sage plant. But the plant contains only small amounts of sclareol, and it is laborious to extract and purify. That’s why the scientists looked for a better way of making large amounts of sclareol.

Their report describes isolating the genetic material (DNA) that produces the two Clary sage enzymes needed to make sclareol. They put the DNA into bacteria, which made large amounts of sclareol in bioreactors.

Full publication can be found at:

Toward a Biosynthetic Route to Sclareol and Amber Odorants
Journal of the American Chemical Society

Source: ACS

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
85,465 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New treatment may reverse celiac disease (October 22, 2019)
  2. "Helical Engine" Proposed by NASA Engineer could Reach 99% the Speed of Light. But could it, really? (October 17, 2019)
  3. The World's Energy Storage Powerhouse (November 1, 2019)
  4. Plastic waste may be headed for the microwave (October 18, 2019)
  5. Universe is a Sphere and Not Flat After All According to a New Research (November 7, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email