Nootkatone is a citrus ingredient that is characteristically associated with grapefruits. It has two main uses:
Use in flavours and fragrances
As a flavour and fragrance ingredient. Nootkatone is a highly “substantive” citrus flavour/fragrance ingredient, a rare characteristic that enables it to last on skin and cloth for an extended period of time. This means perfumers can use nootkatone to impart a fresh clean scent that holds up over time. As such nootkatone has broad potential as a flavour and fragrance ingredient in markets such as personal care and household cleaning.
Nootkatone is commercially produced by direct extraction from grapefruit oil or by oxidation of orange valencene (extracted from oranges). However, this process is very expensive and limits the use of Nootkatone to expensive fine fragrance compounds.
With Evolva’s process the costs can be significantly lowered and its use expanded to high-volume applications such as a fragrance for personal care, hair care and laundry care products. Evolva’s nootkatone has been scaled to commercial production and has received excellent feedback from flavour and fragrance customers.
In August 2015, Evolva launched nootkatone into flavour and fragrance applications.
Use against biting and nuisance pests
Nootkatone is also effective against a range of insect pests including ticks, bed bugs and mosquitoes. For example, the US Centers for Disease Control has demonstrated that nootkatone is a highly effective agent against the ticks that transmit Lyme disease. However, prior to initiating sales of insect control products that utilise nootkatone as an active ingredient, it will be necessary to obtain regulatory approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and similar governing bodies in other countries.
In early 2015, Evolva submitted a request to the EPA to classify nootkatone as a biochemical pesticide active ingredient (a subcategory of biopesticide). This classification allows for a potentially expedited process for registration of nootkatone for use against pests. Evolva received approval from the EPA for this classification in August 2015. From this point forward, it will take an estimated 2-3 years of regulatory work to get nootkatone approved as an insect and tick repellent in the USA. Evolva is also investigating other geographies.
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