Symrise spokesperson Bernhard Kott told us the partnership would commission trials next year as well as establishing stand alone units in both Germany and Sweden to develop probiotic concepts in food and beverages, cosmetics, food supplements and pharmaceuticals.
“This is just the starting point, it will take time, but we will also work with academics and research institutions,” he said. “We have a lot of expertise in mints and these are a first product area for immunity and gut health and other health areas will also be explored.”
Since it took its first interest in probiotics in August this year by taking an 11.8% stake in Probi, Symrise has upped its stake to 14.97%, making it Probi’s biggest shareholder.
Kott said the firm may increase its stake further but was not interesting in making a takeover bid, although it has for several years been beefing up its nutraceutical presence and activity although Kott emphasised flavours, fragrances and raw materials remained its core concerns.
“Multi-million euros” project
Kott said the investment was in the “multi-million euros” league.
Probi CEO Michael Oredsson told us Probi would have 4-5 scientists working on the project, which would be based, “Both in Germany and Sweden, but mostly Germany due to screening and development equipment and expertise.”
In a statement he added: “The globally recognised know-how of Symrise in sensory, active ingredients and applications combined with Probi’s long-standing and proprietary expertise in patented probiotics will allow us to develop new consumer products with real health benefits and sensory profiles without compromises.”
Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise said: “The highly complementary competencies and strategic innovation -agendas of Probi and Symrise will allow us to support our joint customers in theirdevelopment and marketing efforts, and to grow at an accelerated pace.”
Symrise is the world’s fourth largest supplier of fragrances and flavourings after Givaudan, Firmenich and International Flavors and Fragrances. It operates in 160 countries and had a turnover of €1.6bn in 2011.
Probi had sales of more than €10m in 2011 and has deals with Danone and Merck, among others.