On 3 December, Guilin Layn Natural Ingredients Corp. (Layn) and Jiangnan University (JU) signed an agreement to jointly develop key technologies related to Microbial Synthesis of Natural Sweeteners.
The 2 parties will combine their synergistic strengths in technical expertise, scientific research platform, commercialisation and other aspects to speed up the development, application and industrialisation of synthetic biology-related technologies for natural sweeteners.
The contract lasts for 5 years until December 2027 and will incur a technology development expense of up to US$1.68 million, which will spread across 5 development phases.
The research team from the School of Biotechnology and Science Centre for Future Food of JU will be held to task for this project. The team focuses on the research of synthetic biotechnology related to food, metabolic pathway and the control and optimisation of biological processes.
JU is in charge of engineering the strain that can synthesise mogrosides and other sweeteners ingredients from scratch and this will be spread across the 5 phases.
Both partners will jointly apply for patent and ownership rights for their invention relating to the microbial synthesis of mogrosides and other natural sweeteners.
Earlier in November, Layn had also announced its purchase of stevia microbial enzyme conversion technology owned by Jiangsu Svetia Bioscience and Technology Co., Ltd. at US$4.04 million.
These 2 investments represent an important step for Layn to explore new biosynthesis technology routes and produce stevia and mogrosides by microbial fermentation, which can help Layn reduce the production costs of natural sweeteners, increase its productivity and maintain its competitive edge in the natural sweetener market in the long run.
Layn has been focusing on the plant extract industry and its products include natural sweeteners, industrial-grade marijuana and tea extract. Stevia and mogrosides are Layn’s main products. Previously, Layn used plant extraction technology to extract stevia from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni and extract mogrosides from monk fruit.