Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Ayana Bio and Wooree Green Science Partner to Produce Agriculture-Free Saffron

Boston-based Ayana Bio, a spinoff from Ginkgo Bioworks, and Wooree Green Science, a biotech from South Korea developing functional ingredients, announce a partnership to develop sustainable ingredients for health and wellness products for the South Korean market. 

Under a joint development agreement, the companies will produce agriculture-free saffron using plant-cell technology to make it more affordable for plant-based weight loss supplements. Using this novel method, the companies aim to address supply chain challenges and expensive labor fees.

“We want to reinvigorate the natural plant-based weight loss supplement market”

As Ayana Bio explains, saffron is proven to support weight loss by reducing hunger and boosting metabolism. However, the detrimental impact of climate change on saffron crops is intensifying the challenges within the supply chain. Harvesting this labor-intensive plant requires up to 170,000 flowers to yield a kilo of saffron, becoming a costly ingredient for dietary supplements.

“We want to reinvigorate the natural plant-based weight loss supplement market so more people can reap the health benefits. Joining forces with Wooree Green Science will help Ayana Bio deliver on the promise of saffron’s clinical evidence by making the ingredient more affordable with plant cell cultivation,” comments Frank Jaksch, CEO of Ayana Bio. 

A petty dish with plant ingredients
© Ayana Bio

Biotechnology for new ingredients

Ayana Bio discovers and claims to be capable of developing all the naturally occurring plant compounds, including cacao bioactives, that support and improve human health. The company uses plant cell technology to grow plant cells in bioreactors instead of relying on agriculture and depending on its constraints: land and water use, herbicides, pesticides, and climate change. 

The company’s range, branded under Plant Cell Advantage, is said to be DNA-fingerprint certified to offer complete traceability. In addition, the products are described as neutral in taste and color and 100% clean label, offering a standardized composition of phytochemicals and increased bioavailability. 

Saffron and the other ingredients under this agreement will join Ayana Bio’s Plant Cell Advantage ingredient portfolio.

Wooree Green Science uses biotechnology to address sustainability needs in the agriculture industry. The company is focused on developing and commercializing functional and sustainable ingredients for food and pharmaceutical products.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Ayana Bio to utilize its plant cell cultivation technology for the production of new plant cell ingredients for a multitude of applications across food and beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals,” says Um Tae Wook, CEO of Wooree Green Science. 

“We look forward to commercializing these high-value sustainable ingredients through this partnership,” he adds.

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