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Conagen spices up fermentation for premium capsaicin production

23/04/2021 12:16 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 -- Scalable, sustainable capsaicin ingredients for use in food, consumer and industrial products are now more accessible.

Conagen has announced the successful scaling up of its fermentation process for the production of premium capsaicin and related capsaicinoid molecules.

Chili peppers are widely used as food additive in spicy and hot cuisines, due to its hot and pungent characteristics, with global consumers demanding more clean, natural and exciting flavours, especially hot and spicy flavours.

Yet, the challenge in meeting this demand is that capsaicin from chili peppers is difficult to use because of its hot properties, proposing challenges to manufacturers.

According to a statement, capsaicin extraction is limited by the availability of chili peppers, which is subject to fluctuations in price and quality.

The market for capsaicin is growing because of its pungent characteristic - very versatile in a broad spectrum of applications, including food, cosmetic, personal care, pharmaceutical and medical. In industrial applications, such as anti-fouling paint for boats and ships, capsaicin has the potential to replace heavy metals.

“The successful scale-up of our fermentation process for capsaicinoids is a good example of Conagen’s innovative advancements in gene discovery, strain engineering and process development and optimisation,” said Conagen vice president of innovation, Dr Casey Lippmeier.

“The complimentary addition of capsaicinoids to our product portfolio enhances our motivation to meet consumers’ demand for sustainable, nature-based, and clean ingredients.”

Providing a solution to global capsaicin shortages, Conagen has identified several key genes in the capsaicin biosynthetic pathway in hot peppers and has demonstrated proof-of-concepts for the production of capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, and nonivamide.

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