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Ambrosia Bio and Ginkgo Bioworks Partner to Enhance Allulose Production for Alt Sugar Industry


Ambrosia Bio, an Israeli foodtech company specializing in bioprocesses for the global sugar replacement industry, has announced a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, a leader in cell programming and biosecurity. The collaboration aims to leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services and proprietary chassis organisms to develop an expression strain for scalable production of Ambrosia Bio's proprietary enzymes used in the conversion of feedstock into allulose.


Allulose is a rare sugar that occurs naturally in small amounts in figs, raisins, wheat, maple syrup, and molasses. It has gained attention as a sugar replacement due to its low caloric value, typically under 10% compared to equivalent amounts of sucrose, while still maintaining the sensory and culinary properties of sugar and minimally impacting blood glucose and insulin levels. The production of allulose requires the enzymatic conversion of common carbohydrates, but existing natural enzymes on the market often lack stability and effectiveness.


Over the past three years, Ambrosia Bio has successfully developed a unique bioprocess using proprietary enzymes and a complementary production process to convert lower-margin feedstocks, such as sugar and starch, into rare sugars and specialized ingredients like allulose. The company's approach demonstrates remarkable process stability and fidelity even in fluctuating conditions, outperforming current benchmarks. Ambrosia Bio's goal is to replace the costly and cumbersome allulose production processes used by ingredient manufacturers worldwide, democratizing the global use of allulose. The company's product is currently being evaluated by major food and beverage producers and global sugar manufacturers.


To optimize its process further, Ambrosia Bio will leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services, which combines ultra-high throughput screening and machine learning-guided protein design. By accessing Ginkgo's strain engineering Codebase and Foundry capabilities in enzyme expression and analytical chemistry, Ambrosia Bio aims to develop an optimized version of its proprietary enzyme in a productive expression strain. This collaboration will enable Ambrosia Bio to achieve a more scalable and affordable commercial allulose solution.


Ziv Zwighaft, Founder and CEO of Ambrosia Bio, expressed excitement about the partnership, highlighting Ginkgo's expertise and capabilities in the synthetic biology and precision fermentation space. The collaboration will enable Ambrosia Bio to expand the availability of allulose globally and provide affordable options for sugar production players and leading global brands in the food and beverage industry, allowing them to offer reduced-sugar products without compromising taste or other sensory traits.


Mervyn de Souza, Senior Director of Business Development at Ginkgo Bioworks, also expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, emphasizing Ambrosia Bio's high-performance enzymes and their potential to significantly reduce the cost of mass-producing allulose. This advancement will pave the way for reduced-sugar products that maintain exceptional taste and sensory qualities.


The partnership between Ambrosia Bio and Ginkgo Bioworks represents a significant step forward in the development of efficient and cost-effective processes for allulose production. With their combined expertise, the companies aim to accelerate the adoption of allulose as a sugar replacement and contribute to the growth of the sugar replacement industry.

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