Phytolon offers a wide range of natural food colors

Phytolon and Ginkgo Bioworks Hit Milestone in Natural Food Color Production

Consumer Goods
February 3, 2024

Phytolon, a biotech firm specializing in natural food colors through fermentation, and Ginkgo Bioworks, a leader in cell programming and biosecurity, announced the successful completion of the initial development milestone in their collaboration to produce natural food colors. Ginkgo receives an equity milestone as part of the partnership.

The collaboration, initiated in February 2022, aims to create vibrant betalain pigments covering the yellow-to-purple spectrum using cell engineering. This milestone enables Phytolon to offer a broad and cost-effective range of colors to its clients. By optimizing its yeast strains with Ginkgo Natural Product Services, Phytolon enhances the efficiency of producing sustainable colors as alternatives to synthetic dyes.

Phytolon's betalain pigments serve as safe, sustainable alternatives to synthetic dyes, addressing regulatory concerns and consumer demands for natural products. With governments tightening regulations on synthetic dyes, consumers increasingly prefer sustainable options. Phytolon's partnership with Ginkgo positions it well to meet global demand for natural colorants. Following this milestone, Phytolon plans to bring the full color spectrum enabled by the two new strains to market.

"We are so excited to reach this key milestone with our partner, Ginkgo Bioworks. This achievement puts our colors at the forefront to efficiently replace artificial dyes in our food and create a healthy and sustainable world," said Tal Zeltzer, co-founder and CTO of Phytolon. "Our clients are now able to explore high-performing natural colors in their brands, covering the full range from purple to pink, red, orange, and yellow shades."

"We are thrilled to see our collaboration with Phytolon accelerate, and we're proud to be a driving force behind the realization of this milestone and the R&D breakthroughs it represents," said Kevin Madden, Senior Vice President of Commercialization at Ginkgo Bioworks. "Ginkgo Natural Product Services have enabled Phytolon's products to be competitive worldwide and create a broader palette of options for the industry. We're happy to be able to provide innovators like Phytolon with our services and give access to our codebase to accelerate their product development. As we celebrate this success, we look forward to sustaining this momentum to further enhance the performance of Phytolon's products."

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