Evolva (SIX: EVE) announces the launch of nootkatone, a highly prized citrus flavour and fragrance (F&F) ingredient. By brewing nootkatone from sugar, rather than extracting it from the skin of grapefruits, Evolva’s process allows nootkatone to be made in large amounts in a highly reproducible, contaminant free, sustainable and affordable manner. Evolva has now begun selling nootkatone as a F&F ingredient to food, beverage, personal care, and home care product producers around the world.
Nootkatone is a natural aroma ingredient that occurs in grapefruit and certain other plants. It is responsible for the characteristic smell of grapefruit. With a record of demonstrated safety, it is approved in all major countries for use in F&F, and is used in a wide range of foods, drinks, and skin care products. However, until now, its use has been limited by its high price, limited supply, product quality, and other factors.
But nootkatone’s commercial prospects go significantly beyond F&F. In both laboratory and field studies, nootkatone has demonstrated excellent activity against biting and nuisance pests, notably the ticks that are responsible for spreading Lyme disease , but also mosquitoes, head lice, bed bugs and other pests. Earlier this year Evolva therefore submitted a request to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to classify nootkatone as a biochemical pesticide active ingredient (a subcategory of biopesticide). Such a classification allows for a potentially expedited process for registration of nootkatone for use against pests. Evolva received approval of this request on 19th August, and will now engage in 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.
Nootkatone’s revenue and bottom line impact on Evolva will initially be modest and the launch does not affect Evolva’s financial projections for 2015. Revenues and net income are expected to increase significantly from 2016 onwards. Until final EPA approval is obtained, all revenues in the USA at least will come from F&F applications.
“Nootkatone is one of Evolva’s most exciting products, ”Evolva CEO Neil Goldsmith said. “Since we are committed to improving public health through better functional ingredients, we are doing our part to ensure that nootkatone reaches its full potential—responsibly, but expeditiously.”
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