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Potential for Waste Products to Be Converted into Vanillin

UK scientists claim to have found a way to transform plastic waste into vanillin.  Plastics waste is used as feedstock for microbial cells, and a genetically engineered strain of Escherichia coli is utilized to convert terephthalic acid into vanillin which is the molecule responsible for the smell and taste of vanilla.  Traditionally, vanilla is extracted from the vanilla plant which belongs to the orchid family.   Global demand for vanilla continues to far outpace supply from natural sources.  It is uncertain whether vanillin derived from waste products would meet regulatory requirements for consumption, but this type of vanillin could likely be used in cosmetic applications.

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Posted on 23 June 2021