Conagen has developed its latest scalable natural compound, dihydro resveratrol, for use in industrial and human health applications. The ingredient is made by bioconversion from p-coumaric acid (pCA), a natural preservative Conagen produces by precision fermentation. The same proprietary bioconversion technology used to make dihydro resveratrol can be used to make resveratrol and other polyphenol class molecules.
Both compounds are natural metabolites of plants such as berries and grapes and are commonly found in red wine. According to Conagen, because resveratrol and dihydro resveratrol exist in only small quantities in plants, cultivation, extraction and purification are inefficient, using more land, water and energy. Instead, Conagen starts with pCA made using fermentation of microorganisms. Bioconversion of pCA allows the company to use a much smaller footprint to make dihydro resveratrol and related compounds.
Resveratrol molecules in the category of polyphenols possess rich antioxidant properties. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity are linked to protective effects against heart disease, diabetes and cognitive decline; their utility in anti-aging skin care also is well-known. In addition, dihydro resveratrol and resveratrol are important industrial intermediates in industrial applications such as plastic additives, paints, resins, polymers and high-temperature-resistant biomaterials.
Conagen reports it is working with multiple industrial partners to develop novel applications of dihydro resveratrol, resveratrol, and related compounds.
“The development of dihydro resveratrol demonstrates Conagen’s strong capability to manufacture and deliver innovative and versatile compounds for multiple large-scale applications,” said Casey Lippmeier, vice president of innovation. “Our proprietary bioconversion and precision fermentation capabilities enable the production of sustainable high-quality polyphenols for use in novel products [that] drive the growth of new markets.”