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:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... --  The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... in which consumers will be able to interact with IBM ... voice or text and receive relevant information about the product ... have long sought an advertising solution that can create a ... and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... congratulate long-term client Nanowear on their recent FDA Class II 510(k) clearance for ... a significant hurdle in commercializing remote cardiac monitoring devices that rely on cloth-based ...
(Date:12/2/2016)...   SurePure, Inc. (OTCQB: SURP) a global ... has concluded an agreement with Tamarack Biotics under which ... to acquire units of the Company,s patented photopurification technology ... Concurrently with the option, SurePure has ... will seek regulatory approvals in the United ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... BEI ... Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures high alignment accuracy by preventing ... and is ideally suited where extreme precision is required, such as in medical ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the ... excited to announce the formation of EyGen, Ltd. ... ophthalmology assets through proof of concept. EyGen,s lead ... Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited and being developed for topical ... anterior segment diseases. This agent has the potential ...
Breaking Biology Technology: