Givaudan Eyes Fermentation Bio-Based Ingredients With Ginkgo Partnership

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Givaudan, the world’s biggest flavour and fragrance corporation, is now looking to develop more sustainable bio-based ingredients through fermentation. It’s now working with Ginkgo Bioworks, the Boston startup with expertise in cell programming and fermentation, in a new multi-year collaboration to produce a series of novel sustainable ingredients. 

Ginkgo Bioworks has landed a multi-year partnership with Swiss ingredients giant Givaudan, which will see the two firms develop a series of bio-based products enabling new fermentation-based sustainable ingredients. Givaudan will use Ginkgo’s expertise in programming cells “as easily as we can program computers” as the firm looks to expand its sustainable offerings across multiple sectors, from fragrances to F&B and pharmaceutical applications. 

‘Unlock wonders of nature’ with Ginkgo’s platform

Based in Boston, Ginkgo has developed a platform for its clients to enable new biotechnology applications, from industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. The startup, which is set to go public through a SPAC merger with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp., has previously partnered with names like Bolt Threads to help improve the efficiency, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of its b-silk protein for clean beauty applications. 

Givaudan and Ginkgo are working together to create new bio-based ingredients. (Image: Givaudan)

With its new collaboration with Givaudan, Ginkgo is set to accelerate the development of new ingredients. While few details have been released, Givaudan says that it will be focused on developing ingredients that are typically “only available in minute quantities in nature”. Using Ginkgo’s fermentation-enabled platform will help produce these ingredients on a much larger scale, in a sustainable and cost-effective way. 

“Givaudan has long prided itself on being a leader in innovation,” commented Givaudan’s biotech program director Allison Haitz. 

“This collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks is the latest example of our commitment to offering the highest quality, natural products to our customers around the world. We are excited to use biology to unlock more wonders of nature in a sustainable way.”

Read: Report predicts synbio will reshape food and fashion with double-digit growth

More than just ingredients? 

Givaudan has not ruled out expanding its partnership with Ginkgo in the future to include more bio-based products. In a statement, the firm said the current collaboration will already “span multiple programs”, but added that there is the “possibility of adding more in the future.” 

Jason Kelly, CEO at Ginkgo, shared that it is currently focused on “enhancing [Givaudan’s] palette of ingredients used for their product development.” 

Givaudan is tapping Ginkgo’s expertise in synbio to expand its sustainable ingredient portfolio. (Image: Givaudan)

“We will be able to help Givaudan transform even the rarest and most complex nature-inspired ingredients into more sustainable products for consumers,” he added. “We believe that biology has the power to enable better and more sustainable products across many industries, from flavors and fragrances, to pharmaceuticals, to farming.”

Demand for sustainable products

Across almost every industry, businesses are feeling the pressure to ramp up their sustainable offerings to cater to conscious consumers. A trend primarily led by millennials and Gen Zs, shoppers are now spending more than ever on sustainable goods than ever before, driving the boom in everything from resale in fashion to plant-based meat in the food sector. 

The latest research from food corporation Kerry, which involved over 14,000 consumers across 18 countries, revealed that nearly half of all shoppers are now factoring in sustainability in their food and drink purchases. 

Givaudan’s move to partner up with Ginkgo is likely its response to the rising demand for more sustainable products, and the firm has made other significant novel ingredient investments as part of its strategy. In Singapore, the firm has partnered with food processing giant Bühler to open a new plant-based food innovation centre dedicated to creating new vegan products. 

Lead image courtesy of Gingko Bioworks.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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