Evolva Holding SA says it will collaborate with Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) to establish a scientific Centre of Excellence for natural products from Malaysia as part of the flavor and fragrance cluster in the state of Pahang.
The Centre of Excellence, which is being facilitated by the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) will focus on the development of natural compounds using Evolva’s yeast fermentation production platform.
The center is under Malaysia’s flagship Bioeconomy Transformation Programme, Bio-Accelerators for Technology Development and Innovation.
The goal is to create a new paradigm in the sustainable production of Malaysia’s high value indigenous natural products.
“Malaysia has abundant natural products with high potential to be developed into high purity as well as active ingredients for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and other high-end industries,” said BiotechCorp’s CEO Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal.
“With Evolva’s unique platform and UMP’s research strength, the Centre is impetus in our efforts to establish the links between the science knowledge base and the business community.”
“This will create value for other industries with significant economic opportunities to benefit Malaysia’s Bioeconomy agenda.”
The first program at the center will focus on the production of agarwood fragrances via yeast fermentation.
The development of a range of agarwood products by fermentation will allow Malaysia to significantly widen the use of agarwood worldwide, and will complement the existing traditional production approaches.
Agarwood of the Aquilaria and Gyrinops variety has been prized for centuries by incense and perfume makers, and traditional medicine practitioners, says Evolva.
More recently, agarwood has been designated as an endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES.
Despite conservation measures and concerted efforts to grow Aquilaria and Gyrinops in tree nurseries and organic tree farms, these evergreens are rapidly vanishing from forests due to high demand.
According to data collected by the Wild Trade Monitoring Network, the global supply of wild agarwood could vanish from the planet in less than two years.