Isobionics® Santalol – a Close Alternative to Sandalwood Oil - Interview with Toine Janssen, Founder of Isobionics®

Toine Janssen, Founder
Isobionics ®

What are the advantages of Isobionics®Santalol?

Thanks to its woody note, Isobionics® Santalol is a real alternative to sandalwood oil. It represents the heart note of sandalwood oil. It offers consistently high quality and is available regardless of weather or harvesting conditions.

Isobionics® Santalol is 100% free of endangered sandalwood trees. It is produced by fermentation from renewable raw materials: The starting material for the fermentation process is corn starch obtained from corn grown in Europe. Fermentation is an ancient cultural technique known from processes such as brewing beer and baking bread.  In case of brewing beer, the glucose is transformed into alcohol.

Isobionics® uses a proprietary platform based on Rhodobacter sphaeroides. It uses the combination of two metabolic pathways to very efficiently produce terpenes. Products do not have yeasty off-notes and are thus ideally suited for flavor and fragrance applications.

Why does the F&F market need an alternative to sandalwood oil? 

Sandalwood oil is extracted from the white sandalwood tree Santalum album. Plantations of sandalwood trees exist mainly in India. Sandalwood trees can be harvested after 15 years the earliest but high yields and good quality of oil is achieved from trees aged 30 to 40 years and above. This led to harvesting especially of mature trees which are most relevant for propagation. Due to depleting cutting of the white sandalwood tree over decades, the species is listed on the IUCN Red List. Sandalwood and its oil are deeply connected to India’s culture and to save it from extinction, the Indian government strictly regulates plantations, harvest and trading of the wood and its products. 

Bad weather conditions also influence the harvest. Therefore, original sandalwood oil is not sufficiently available for the F&F Industry in constant quality and price. With our new product Isobionics® Santalol, we respond to the unchecked market need. Isobionics® Santalol represents the heart note of sandalwood oil and its excellent cost positioning makes it an attractive alternative. 

For which applications is Isobionics®Santalol suitable?

Thanks to its woody note, it is a real alternative to sandalwood oil, especially for use in fine fragrances and high-quality personal care products. In fragrance compositions, Isobionics® Santalol brings more volume and warmth. Floral-oriental fine fragrances are enhanced by the creamy sandalwood note.

Isobionics®portfolio is mainly based on fermentation processes. What contribution can fermentation make to mastering the industry's challenges? 

I'll give you four good reasons: Consistently high quality, availability, effective production and scarcity of natural resources. 

Our fermentation technology lets us strictly control all conditions so that the quality of our ingredients is consistently high. This technology also makes it possible to produce year-round without weather-related restrictions. The result is the most important advantage for the F&F industry: The reliable availability of fermentation-based ingredients reassures our customers and simplifies delivery processes.

Fermentation becomes particularly interesting when plant products reach their limits. Innovations in fermentation can reconstruct highly complex molecules, providing easy access to natural aroma ingredients with a convincing purity and efficient production processes. And the final reason: Fermentation-based processes conserve already scarce natural resources, like sandalwood. 

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