Firmenich and Amyris expand “mystery” ingredients partnership

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Flavor

Firmenich and the renewable products company Amyris are expanding their joint collaboration to work on three “key” ingredients but they continue to keep the industry guessing about what they are.

Amyris said this week that the success of its initial collaboration with the Swiss-based flavour and fragrance house for two ingredients had led to the early expansion into a third.

Under the initial agreement, Firmenich was to fund technical development at Amyris to produce a “sustainable, cost-effective and reliable source of a key ingredient for the fragrance and flavour market”.

Now, in this latest announcement, Amyris boasts that it had delivered on a key milestone for the development of that first ingredient well ahead of schedule.

It added: “The parties expect to begin work on the second ingredient on schedule and, as a result of the performance so far, have decided to expand the collaboration to now incorporate a third ingredient.

The goal of the Amyris-Firmenich collaboration is to promote long-term interests of the flavours and fragrances industry by providing sustainable ingredients that are cost competitive.

“Under the agreement, Amyris will manufacture and supply key ingredients to Firmenich, and Firmenich will market and distribute them exclusively in the flavors and fragrances market.”

Both parties will share in the economic value derived from these ingredients.

But that is as far as they would go in revealing what exactly it is they are developing.

When asked for more detail, a spokeswoman for Amyris told that it could not comment further at this time.

Meanwhile Firmenich told that although Amyris had made the announcement with its “input and permission”, generally, as a privately owned company, it wouldn’t comment on the details of its scientific partnerships.

Amyris is an integrated renewable products company based in Emeryville, California, focused on providing sustainable alternatives to petroleum-sourced products.

It uses its industrial synthetic biology platform to convert plant sugars into a variety of hydrocarbon molecules - flexible building blocks that can be used in a wide range of products.

It is commercializing these products as No Compromise renewable ingredients in cosmetics, flavours and fragrances, among others.

The company had originally focused its technical and commercial efforts on Biofene®, which is Amyris-produced farnesene (an apple-like flavour or odour), and its related derivatives. But it said, when the partnership with Firmenich was first announced in November 2010, that the collaboration would expand the company’s business “beyond Biofene”.

In this week’s announcement, John Melo, CEO of Amyris, stated: “Our progress with Firmenich demonstrates our commitment to delivering results to our customers that exceed expectations, and validates our plans to begin production and sale of Amyris sourced flavors and fragrances ingredients starting next year.”

While Patrick Firmenich, CEO of Firmenich, said. “Innovation and sustainability are integral components of our company philosophy, and this expanded partnership with Amyris will continue our commitment to provide high-quality ingredients to the flavors and fragrances market.”

Related topics: Science, Flavours and colours

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