Office for Technology Commercialization

Carotenoid Biosynthesis for Nutraceuticals and Commercial Food Colorings

Technology #z05100

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Lycopene, a CarotenoidCarotenoids are Used as Food ColorantsA Variety of Carotenoids can be Produced Using Biosythesis
Dr. Claudia Schmidt-Dannert Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Dr. Schmidt-Dannert's group is primarily focused on fitting microbial cells with new biosynthetic abilities using metabolic and genetic pathway engineering strategies together with evolutionary and rational protein engineering strategies to alter and study biosynthetic activities.
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Eric Hockert
Technology Marketing Manager 612-624-9568
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending 2011-817120

Biosynthesis of C40 Carotenoids

Carotenoids From Biosynthesis are Purer and Less Expensive

A biosynthesis process has been developed that modifies microorganisms to produce different lines of C40 carotenoids using a patented gene sequence. This biosynthesis process produces carotenoids that are more pure than ones extracted from plants, produces carotenoids that cannot be produced using chemical synthesis, and produces carotenoids that are not found in nature. Since carotenoids from biosynthesis have higher concentrations, and the source material is inexpensive, the manufacturing costs could be lower.

MN-IP Try and Buy
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Carotenoids Used in Nutritional Supplements and Food Coloring

Carotenoids are vitamin A precursors and antioxidants and are used commercially in nutritional supplements or nutraceuticals. Carotenoids are also used in food coloring. The use of carotenoids is increasing and there are projections that they will become a billion dollar industry in the next several years. (Source)


  • Applications in nutritional supplements, or nutraceuticals, as antioxidants and as food or cosmetic colorants
  • Higher concentrations of carotenoids with fewer impurities than plant based extraction
  • Cheaper than chemical extraction and produces carotenoids that cannot be made using chemical synthesis or extraction