Conagen expands offerings of natural preservatives made by fermentation

Conagen launched a new natural preservative made through fermentation: p-Coumaric Acid.

Conagen (Bedford, MA) has launched a new natural preservative made through fermentation: p-Coumaric Acid (PCA). The preservative expands on the natural preservatives offered by Conagen’s commercialization partner Blue California. Last year, Blue California and Conagen announced the commercialization of a 98% high-purity rosmarinic acid natural preservative. With demand for “clean-label” products on the rise, natural preservatives offer formulators to make food, beverages, personal care, and cosmetic products without artificial ingredients, while also preserving shelf life.

“Our PCA expands the toolbox for product developers looking for a scalable, low cost-in-use, natural solution for increasing the shelf life of food without interfering with the flavor of their products,” said Conagen's vice president of innovation, Casey Lippmeier, PhD.

PCA is a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial compound found in all plants, but predominantly in peanuts, tomatoes, carrots, basil, and garlic. It’s also a key constituent of wine, vinegar, and honey. Conagen uses an innovative precision fermentation process that enables the cultivation of micro-organisms programed to create sustainable, natural ingredients with high purity that is priced competitively with synthetic PCA, says the firm.

“A sustainable source of PCA is also desirable as a precursor for different biopolymers and other high-tech biomaterials made with ‘green chemistry,’” adds Lippmeier. “The novel polymers and co-polymers which can be made by fermentation-derived PCA enable the development of environmentally safer bioplastics and new applications in biomedicine.”

In industrial application spaces, PCA works well in coatings, composites, adhesives, and polymers for biomedical, transportation, aerospace, electronics, and packaging.