BASF Acquires Renewable-Ingredients Firm

March 21, 2012

The firm, Allylix, specializes in terpenes and their derivatives produced using novel fermentation technology.

BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) is investing $13.5 million in Allylix Inc. (San Diego, CA), a U.S.-based renewable-chemicals company that BASF says could help it broaden BASF’s use of renewable raw materials in the future. Allylix specializes in terpenes and their derivatives, which are used by the food industry as a natural sweetener, and the flavor, fragrance, and cosmetic industries for purposes such as for antiaging and as a natural preservative to replace parabens.

The companies say that terpenes and their derivatives are “rarely accessible by chemical synthesis” and are usually mostly availably in limited quantities from natural resources. Allylix’s patented fermentation technology is said to allow the company to produce highly pure, renewable compounds at a lower cost compared with traditional production methods.

“Our investment in Allylix could allow us to broaden our use of renewable raw materials for sustainable chemical solutions,” stated Daniela Proske, PhD, a principal at BASF Venture Capital America, in a press release. “The company has demonstrated the ability to produce high-quality products at scalable commercial quantities and at a lower price point…”

Carolyn Fritz, president and CEO of Allylix, added, “Our biotechnological and cost-competitive manufacturing process for specialty chemicals, such as aroma chemicals, will address the consumer preference for affordable and naturally derived products.”

Other investors in Allylix include Tate & Lyle Ventures, Avrio Ventures, and Cultivian Ventures.