Biomass contains substances that are interesting for a variety of applications and markets. Think of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. These may be substances with medicinal properties, colorants, flavors and fragrances or perfumes.
Using agricultural/industrial side streams, we have been able to develop / produce bio ingredients such as:
The patenting of pharmaceutical products based on plants or other biomass is very difficult. The pharmaceutical industry will be primarily focused on developing profitable patented manufacturing processes. However, there is a market for the insulation of building blocks from plants which can subsequently be converted into pharmaceutical ingredients and / or excipients. Most interesting are bulk products and fine chemicals as raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry.
Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources that are purported to provide extra health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. Depending on the jurisdiction, products may claim to prevent chronic diseases, improve health, delay the aging process, increase life expectancy, or support the structure or function of the body. Examples of nutraceuticals are antioxidants, dietary fiber, prebiotics and probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids.
The use of chemical pesticides is under increasing pressure. The use of biopesticides is emerging. Reseach is being done on products based on plant residues. However, there are limiting factors. Products often contain a complex of “active substances” and registration is costly. On the other hand, there is a changed thinking on natural substances and reuse (renewables, CO2 footprint), the EU promotes alternatives for chemicals and there is a demand for low or no residual food from supermarkets and consumers.
Biomass has been a feedstock for cosmetics for a long time. This is expected to increase in the years to come. Not only for the purpose of (micro) organically produced ingredients, but also the use of bio-based and compostable, recyclable packaging. In recent years, there has been a lot of attention for microbial substances in cosmetics. Microbial products are easy to adapt to any desired specification. It is possible to produce these products with fermentation and bioconversion processes under mild reaction conditions from cheap, renewable raw materials. Additionally, the green image makes them commercially interesting.