DSM acquires Amyris’ bio-based flavors and fragrances business

9 Apr 2021

Netherlands-based Royal DSM acquired the flavor and fragrance bio-based intermediates business of California-based Amyris in order to extend the Dutch corporation’s presence in bio-based flavor and fragrance ingredients. The transaction was completed on March 31 for an initial payment of $150 million. DSM and Amyris will continue their R&D partnership.

Since 2017, these two companies have worked together closely. DSM has already acquired Amyris’ Farnesene – a sugarcane-based chemical reputed for its calming effects – business and licensed it to Givaudan, and has purchased its Brotas (Brazil) biotechnology manufacturing facilities where DSM produces several of Amyris’ flavor products.

DSM acquires Amyris’ bio-based flavors and fragrances business

Now, this most recent acquisition more tightly ties these two companies together as this agreement comes with the transfer of seven of Amyris’ intermediate products. Four of these products are already generating “meaningful sales,” according to DSM. Two other products recently launched and one is still under development. Amyris will continue to share in the sales growth of products that are just launched or under development until 2024.

According to the Dutch science firm, this acquisition strengthens its foundation in biotechnology activities in nutritional ingredients; broadens the company’s portfolio in aroma ingredients; and strengthens its sustainability profile since these bio-based ingredients provide an alternative to chemical-based products.

Sustainability in the flavors category has become big business in recent years. As clean labels go from being a brand differentiator to the new standard, companies are scrambling to find alternatives to artificial ingredients. At the same time, consumers are continuing to demand that products become progressively healthier, leaving manufacturers looking for the best solution for a variety of staple ingredients such as a sustainable sugar replacement without off-tastes and salt substitutes that are not chemically derived.

Amyris has been successful in devising a solution for sugar. The company has been successful with its Purecane zero-calorie, non-GMO, chemical-free sweetener that is sugarcane based.

In fact, the California firm has had repeated success in developing clean ingredients as seen in its 2020 financial report which showed that in conjunction with launching six new ingredients last year, the company posted its highest sales yet with 13% growth over 2019 to reach $173 million in sales in 2020.

It is unlikely that demand for natural, better-for-you and sustainable ingredients will dwindle anytime soon. In a recent survey from the Brightfield Group's Evergi Consumer Insights, findings demonstrated that the pandemic has propelled people to maintain healthy diets to better manage their stress levels and overall well-being. This data shows that deriving functional benefits from food is a trend that is far from dissipating and that ingredients that are plant-based and better for people and for the environment will likely remain top of mind for the foreseeable future.

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