The Swiss-based manufacturer of perfumes and aromas has patented a new extraction technology that enables the processing of biomass never previously used in the industry for natural ingredients. Named Firgood, this technology uses only the water that is an inherent part of the biomass cells. Once warmed up by electromagnetic vibration, the water carries the odorant components, to yield the final pure extract.
According to Firmenich, this technology is the culmination of advances in sustainable extraction and is more environmentally friendly than any other extraction method. Solvent-free, dry biomasses only require water humidification. In addition, the whole extraction process only requires low energy consumption and generates clean wastes that can easily be upcycled.
“This advanced and highly sustainable technology is a revolution for natural ingredients in our industry. It opens new creative territories, unexplored until now,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO of Firmenich.
To implement this process, Firmenich has developed a new industrial tool within its centre of excellence for natural ingredients located in Grasse, in the south of France.
“We have successfully scaled-up from lab and pilot plant to two industrial lines, offering production capacity that ranges from hundreds of kilograms to several tons of primary extracts,” added Boet Brinkgreve, President, Ingredients.
Three unique ingredients
The Firgood technology has already led to the addition of three natural extracts to Firmenich’s creative palette: a pear extract, a ginger extract and a green bell pepper extract.
In the coming months, 10 additional ingredients will be introduced, followed by a rich pipeline of future launches for both perfumery and taste applications.
This type of innovation, which is also illustrated by the Symtrap process developed by Symrise, makes it possible to bring previously unseen ingredients into the creative palette of formulators and perfumers, with potential new sensory experiences and cosmetic advances for consumers.