'Deinococcus' bacteria - a bio-based cosmetic alternative

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

'Deinococcus' bacteria - a bio-based cosmetic alternative

Related tags Bacteria

Montpellier-based Deinove claims it has reached the first milestone of its green chemistry program, which takes Deinococcus bacteria and develops bio-based compounds  for cosmetics.

Funded by the French government, the company's aim is to offer alternatives to cosmetics normally derived from petroleum or extracted from plants with low yields.

According to Deinove, the first molecules produced are aromatic ingredients, antioxidants and / or high-added value pigments, representing a market of hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide.

The Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) has invested in the framework, to the sum of nearly one million euros, which the biotech company will receive in early February in the form of a repayable advance.

CEO Emmanuel Petiot says until now, Deinococci has been untapped potential and this initiative is ushering in a new era of bacteria-based green chemistry.

"We are moving towards the provision of innovative technologies for industry that will help preserve the planet's resources​," says Petiot.

"We are moving faster than expected and have already started the next phase of the project, which basically includes production parameters optimization and gradual scale-up. Meanwhile, we continue to explore the potential of Deinococcus to produce ther molecules of interest," ​he adds.

Taking advantage of the bacteria's 'unique genetic properties'

Petiot, who employs over 40 people in offices and laboratories in the South of France, says the bacteria has unique genetic properties and an 'unusual robustness'.

The process includes obtaining natural fermentation and metabolic capabilities of the bacteria's "micro-factories" to produce high value-added products from non-food biomass.

At the end of 2012, the company obtained a first validation of the approach through its' 'Deinol' program, using its' cutting hedge technology to convert biomass into energy and industrial compounds.

For the first time ever a Deinove bacterium turned wheat-based complex sugars into ethanol, in a single operation and without additives (enzymes, yeast,).

In 2013 and 2014, Deinove confirmed and improved these results when its optimized bacteria have been able to exceed an alcohol content of 5% wt/v, a threshold for considering an industrial operation process in 2nd generation biofuels.

At the same time, the cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic properties of Deinococcus have been deepened and confirmed.

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