Navigation Links
How to make high-end perfumes without whale barf
Date:4/4/2012

University of British Columbia researchers have identified a gene in balsam fir trees that could facilitate cheaper and more sustainable production of plant-based fixatives and scents used in the fragrance industry and reduce the need for ambergris, a substance harvested from whale barf.

When sperm whales consume sharp objects, such as seashells and fish bones, their gut produces a sticky substance to protect their digestive organs. They then regurgitate the mixture much like cats throwing up fur balls and the vomit, reacting with seawater, turns into rock-like objects that wash ashore. These are collected and refined for their fixative properties. Called ambergris, the scented compound is added to high-end perfumes to help the fragrance stay on the skin longer.

The discovery was led by Prof. Joerg Bohlmann and postdoctoral research associate Philipp Zerbe at UBC's Michael Smith Laboratories. Details are published in the April 6 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"The use of ambergris in the fragrance industry has been controversial," says Bohlmann, who is a professor of Botany and Forest Sciences. "First of all, it's an animal byproduct and the use of such in cosmetics has been problematic, not to mention it comes from the sperm whale, an endangered species."

Even though much of the ambergris approved for use today is manually collected along the shorelines of known sperm whale habitats in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and in the Caribbean, it is still a costly venture. In the Mediterranean, sage has been cultivated for the production of a plant-based substitute of ambergris, but yields are variable and can be unpredictable, similar to manual collection of ambergris.

"We've now discovered that a gene from balsam fir is much more efficient at producing such natural compounds, which could make production of this bio-product less expensive and more sustainable," says Bohlmann.

The discovery and related technology is currently being commercialized through UBC's Industry Liaison Office. The research was supported by Genome Canada, Genome British Columbia, and Genome Alberta through the PhytoMetaSyn Project, and through grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joerg Bohlmann
bohlmann@msl.ubc.ca
604-822-0282
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Even natural perfumes may cause allergies
2. No entry without protein recycling: RUB researchers discover new coherence in enzyme transport
3. Potatoes lower blood pressure in people with obesity and hypertension without increasing weight
4. No future without scarce metals
5. System to deliver organ transplant drug -- without harmful side effects
6. A new method for testing allergenic substances without experimental animals
7. Green routing can cut car emissions without significantly slowing travel time
8. Alternate ending -- living on without telomerase
9. Growing without cell division
10. Researchers do precise gene therapy without a needle
11. Can antivirulence drugs stop infections without causing resistance?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a ... enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI ... public safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings ... including a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to ... position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... -- PMD Healthcare announces the release of its new ... (WMS), a remote, real-time lung health monitoring and management ... a Medical Device, Digital Health, and Chronic Care Management ... solutions that empower people to improve their healthcare and ... the first ever personal spirometer, Spiro PD, which was ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other ... identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 15, 2017 , ... ... 1 brand refresh, the clinical skincare brand has today launched its first-ever cross-medium ... is now being shared across digital and social media channels, emphasizing Algenist’s stance ...
(Date:5/12/2017)... 12, 2017 GreenMark Biomedical Inc. today announced ... 36th annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) and the ... Delaware corporation with facilities in ... attendance, including more than 100 top venture capital firms. ... through biobased targeting technologies. GreenMark is developing ...
(Date:5/11/2017)...   BioLife Solutions , Inc. (NASDAQ: BLFS ... grade cell and tissue hypothermic storage and ... operational highlights and financial results for the first quarter of ... a new high of $2.4 million in the first quarter ... in 2016. Revenue growth was driven by sales of ...
(Date:5/11/2017)... ... May 11, 2017 , ... ... are excellent resources for disease modeling and drug screening. Human PSCs derived neural ... neurons for various applications, however, these often contain mixed population of both differentiated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: