Healthy fatty acids: Phytanic acid

3 healthy people jump in the background of a sunset demonstrating their fitness.

The human diet contains a lot of really healthy compounds, but some are only contained in meat, fish and dairy products and are thus not available for vegans. Let’s use microorganisms to create a healthier life for everyone!


Phytanic acid and its metabolite pristanic acid are important branched chain fatty acids (BCFA), which display multiple positive health effects. However, humans can so far only obtain them through the consumption of dairy products, ruminant animal fats or certain fish. It’s not only humans, but mammalian cells in general that require these compounds and they are e.g. routinely used for induction of adipogenic differentiation in bovine precursors in cultured meat production.


acib’s concept is to use an enzymatic cascade for phytanic acid production starting from inexpensive chlorophyll. To find the best enzymes we use a DNA library of the rumen microbiome, where this conversion is performed with exceptional efficiency. Biotechnologically produced phytanic acid can be used as i) human food supplement, ii) supplement for alternative meat and dairy products, iii) growth supplement and differentiation agent for cultured animal cells.

Project Offer

Under protection of a CDA/NDA we provide you with professional strategies for healthy ingredients. IP developed in such a project would fully belong to our investor/industrial partner.


Dr. Anita Emmerstorfer-Augustin, Dr. Aleksandra Fuchs

Available for:

Investments, Joint Research Projects, Contract Research

Development status:

Technology Readiness Level 2 (Technology concept formulated)


Can be generated for our industrial partners / investors


Enzymatic Conversion, Phytanic Acid, Pristanic Acid, Branched Chained Fatty Acids (BFCA), Health, Anti-diabetic, Anti-cancerogenic, Adipogenic Differentiation, Cultured meat

Picture credits: Pixabay

Dr. Martin U. Trinker
Director Business Development & Fundraising
Krenngasse 37
8010 Graz
+43 316 873 9316