High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), VC Fonds BW, Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg GmbH and Goldmann International GmbH have acquired stakes in 4GENE GmbH. The young company, based in Heilbronn with office and production facilities in Freising and Stuttgart, develops and distributes activatable flavor and fragrance precursors for cosmetics, food and industrial fragrance warning systems to its customers worldwide. The investment enables the 4GENE team to create the necessary resources in laboratory, production and team. This will enable the upscaling of products to be developed further, the biotechnological process for the production of aroma glucosides to be optimized further and market entry to be accelerated.
With the “FLAVOR-ON-DEMAND” platform, 4GENE has developed a technology for its customers, the manufacturers of consumer goods, which solves a multitude of challenges in the processing and application of flavorings. In contrast to free flavors, 4GENE products are non-volatile, chemically more stable, more soluble in water and can be activated when needed. The 4GENE technology can be used for both natural and synthetically produced flavors. The biotechnological process developed for the industrial production of aroma glucosides makes it possible for the first time to use these products in consumer products in an economically viable way.
In a skin cream, for example, free aroma substances are only noticeable for approx. three hours because of their volatility. Later most people will no longer perceive, or only with great difficulty, the fragrances. Through the use of bound aroma substances in the form of 4GENE Aroma Glucosides, the perceptible fragrances are very slowly cleaved by the microbiome of the skin and released over a much longer period of time. This noticeably prolongs the effect of the fragrance in the skin cream and multiplies the time of perceptibility of the fragrance.
In addition to the use of positively smelling fragrances and aromas, 4GENE offers an industrial solution in which conspicuously smelling fragrances are used as a warning signal. The industrial solution will be presented to the public for the first time at the Hannover Fair in April 2019.
The current product portfolio comprises 26 fragrances and flavoring glucosides. In addition, 4GENE offers its customers and interested parties the development of customer-specific Aroma Glucosides as well as support in their application in product development.
Dr. Anke Caßing from High-Tech Gründerfonds: “The team has developed a novel technology that enables manufacturers of consumer goods to develop exciting new products – a deodorant that releases fragrances when they are most needed, a chewing gum that unfolds its taste over time. Many applications are conceivable, even cables that produce an early warning smell when overheated.”