Essential oils from plants contain mixtures of bioactive natural products. Monoterpene alcohols and ketones find wide application as ingredients of fragrances. These compounds are often used as complex mixtures either from plant extracts or from their chemical derivatization. For instance, ‘synthetic borneol’ and ‘semi-synthetic borneol’ are mixtures of different borneol isomers stemming from the chemical reduction of racemic camphor or (+)-camphor, respectively. The use of pure compounds offers a better control of the olfactory effects of a fragrance.
Biocatalysis allows the synthesis of these products in high purity from inexpensive bio-based starting material under sustainable conditions. By genome mining and enzyme engineering, researchers from acib in collaboration with the Fraunhofer IGB have developed an enzyme platform for the stereoselective conversion of bicyclic monoterpenoids. The enzyme platform allows the synthesis of biocatalytic synthesis of the pure enantiomers in optically pure form with outstanding selectivity (>99%ee/>99%de) from the inexpensive bio-based starting material α-pinene.
Experts:Prof. Dr. Robert Kourist, Prof. Dr. Harald Pichler
Joint Research Project, Contract Research
Technology Readiness Level 2-3