Mar 16, 2023
BALTIMORE, March 16, 2023 -- Today, Conagen Inc., a leading platform technology company with bio-manufacturing capabilities, and Natáur LLC, a producer of bio-based compounds, announced a partnership for the commercial production of a sustainable and natural source of taurine.
Natáur has used the tools of synthetic biology to allow microbes to make taurine, an essential nutrient for the health of humans and animals. Now, with the fermentation and manufacturing expertise of Conagen, the team has the capacity to produce taurine at the multi-ton scale needed to meet market demand.
Taurine is essential for cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, vision, and nervous system function. It is currently used as an ingredient in numerous products across several market sectors and product categories (food, feed, nutraceuticals, energy drinks, infant formula, pet foods, personal care) and the demand for taurine is growing as
the awareness of its benefits increases. Taurine occurs naturally in meat and dairy products, but it is not made by plants, fungi or single-cell protein systems. In particular, as the world shifts to alternative, plant-based protein sources, taurine supplements are critical in supporting vegan and vegetarian diets.
Before Natáur’s proprietary manufacturing system was available, taurine was made in a process using fossil fuels, including oil and coal. That process creates toxic by-products, relies on a carcinogenic and hazardous air pollutant intermediate and releases high levels of CO2. In addition, taurine made from fossil fuels is primarily manufactured in China, which has recently led to supply chain challenges.
Natáur's technology instead makes it possible for taurine to be produced sustainably by fermentation. This process relies on sugar and other natural feedstocks and does not use hazardous or toxic chemicals or animal parts. It reduces carbon emissions by 10x and makes it possible to produce taurine in volumes ranging from a few grams to thousands of tons, and in fermentation facilities located anywhere in the world, relieving supply chain challenges.
"We are thrilled to partner with Conagen on the sustainable production of taurine," said Kathleen Turano, CEO of Natáur. "Conagen has the bio-manufacturing expertise and scale-up production capabilities to quickly get natural taurine into the marketplace."
"We are impressed with the depth of knowledge and microbial engineering that Natáur has brought to natural taurine synthesis," said Casey Lippmeier, Senior VP of Innovation at Conagen. "We are pleased to be partnering with them as we transition this market to the production of sustainable taurine."
Natáur LLC develops sustainable solutions to replace petroleum-based compounds, with a focus on natural metabolites that play a beneficial role in human and animal health. Natáur's technology produces bio-based compounds through the fermentation of safe microbes.
Conagen is making the impossible possible. We are a product-focused, synthetic biology R&D company with large-scale manufacturing service capabilities. Our proprietary strain development, fermentation, and scale-up technologies enhance the sales, production and profitability of our global partners across a broad spectrum of
current and developing markets in food, beverage, nutrition, flavor and fragrance, pharmaceutical, and renewable materials.