More cultured ingredients coming to beauty, thanks to Ginkgo - Amyris partnership

(image courtesy of Ginkgo Bioworks)

Today as Ginkgo Bioworks announced the deal, Cosmetics Design caught up with Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo, to find out why the two companies are collaborating to bring more biotech ingredients to cosmetics and personal care manufacturers.

The two companies are joining forces to produce a large portfolio of cultured ingredients and expect that by working together the project will be more efficient, cost-effective, and faster than if either team were working in isolation. “Together, Ginkgo and Amyris will collaborate on a portfolio of 70 different ingredients across flavors, fragrance, cosmetics, personal care and nutrition,” affirms Kelly.

“Cultured ingredients have already made an impact in fragrance, personal care, and cosmetics,” Kelly tells Cosmetics Design. “Fragrances from Amyris and Ginkgo like the cultured patchouli Clearwood, the cultured rose, or cultured lactones are just the beginning.” (Read more about the fragrance ingredients Gingko has already made in this item from Cosmetics Design.)

Next-generation ingredients

Beauty makers have always enjoyed the best that nature and chemistry have to offer. Today, naturals are more popular than ever and science is more advanced. Enter biotech. 

“Biology is the most powerful manufacturing platform on the planet,” Kelly tells this publication. “Living cells are incredible machines that can transform waste, produce valuable molecules, and build robust ecosystems. New technologies are making it possible to tap into the power of biology, to create useful new products in renewable ways. As these living technologies improve, we won't need to use fossil fuels and other extractive technologies to manufacture stuff—in the future we'll grow new products with biology,” he says.

Full-scale production

Ingredients made using biotech have commercial advantages. “Cultured ingredients offer more stable and more sustainable sourcing of plant-derived products,” says Kelly. “Each ingredient on the market today faces unique challenges that can affect access and quality. Increasing demand can put pressure on already strained environments where these resources are grown; cultured ingredients can extend and expand access to these ingredients in a more sustainable way,” he tells Cosmetics Design.

Demand for biotech solutions in the cosmetics marketplace is on the rise. Amyris also just inked a new deal with Givaudan, and those two companies will be using biotech to develop cosmetic actives as a result.

“There is growing interest in biotechnology across many sectors, and a growing demand for these ingredients in markets where they've already found traction,” affirms Kelly. “Together, [Ginkgo and Amyris] have a total of 70 ingredients under contract with partners in several markets.”

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