Steffen Götz

Vice President Global

Sales & Business Management

BASF Aroma Ingredients


Isobionics® Santalol: First can you tell me more about the involvement of BASF in the fragrances market? What about your current portfolio?

BASF Aroma Ingredients is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of high-class and creative flavor and fragrance ingredients. We are passionate to support our customer’s growth plans with our varied portfolio. We offer products in six scent ranges, which contain in total more than 40 different products.  

With a combination of our scientific strength, regulatory expertise, and our Global Supply Network as well as two world-scale aroma ingredients sites in Malaysia and Germany we strive to add value to our customers and partners.  

Through acquiring Isobionics®, an innovation leader in biotechnology, we are able to provide fermentation-based ingredients to the global market. Isobionics® Santalol is the first joint product of BASF and Isobionics® and we have new fermentation-based fragrance ingredients in our pipeline.  

Can you describe what are the advantages of Isobionics® Santalol?

With our new product Isobionics® Santalol, we respond to the strong market need of sandalwood oil. Thanks to its woody note, Isobionics® Santalol is a real alternative to sandalwood oil and it is 100% free of endangered sandalwood trees. It is produced by fermentation from renewable raw materials. Isobionics® Santalol represents the heart note of sandalwood oil. It offers consistently high quality and is available regardless of weather or harvesting conditions. Additionally, Isobionics® Santalol conserves already scarce natural resources, like sandalwood.

I understand that Isobionics® Santalol comes from a biotech process: can you give me more details? Today the biotech environment represents a great opportunity in innovation in cosmetics, personal care, talking of fragrances.

The starting material for the fermentation process of Isobionics® Santalol is corn starch obtained from corn grown in Europe. Isobionics® uses a proprietary platform based on Rhodobacter sphaeroides. It uses the combination of two metabolic pathways to very efficiently produce terpenes. Products do not have yeasty off-notes and are thus ideally suited for fragrance applications. 

The fermentation technology lets us strictly control all conditions so that the quality of our ingredients is consistently high. This technology also makes it possible to produce year-round without weather-related restrictions. The result is the most important advantage for the F&F industry: The reliable availability of fermentation-based ingredients reassures our customers and simplifies delivery processes. 

Fermentation becomes particularly interesting when plant products reach their limits. Innovations in fermentation can reconstruct highly complex molecules, providing easy access to natural aroma ingredients with a convincing purity and efficient production processes. Fermentation-based processes conserve already scarce natural resources, like sandalwood.  

Sandalwood oil has become popular over the years also for the charm of the world of oriental culture that expresses and is appreciated for its properties ranging from cosmetics, health, body treatments in a holistic view. Being an alternative to sandalwood oil, for which applications can Isobionics® Santalol be used?

Thanks to its woody note, it is a real alternative to sandalwood oil, especially for use in fine fragrances and high-quality personal care products. In fragrance compositions, Isobionics® Santalol brings more volume and warmth. Floral-oriental fine fragrances are enhanced by the creamy sandalwood note.

Isobionics® Santalol – a close alternative to sandalwood oil