Providing a path for the standardized production of flavonoids
By using synthetic biology, the SynBio4Flav project aims to provide a cost-effective alternative to current flavonoid production. SynBio4Flav’s scientific challenge is to produce flavonoids by breaking down their complex biosynthetic pathways into standardized specific parts, which can be transferred to engineered microorganisms within Synthetic Microbial Consortia to promote flavonoid assembly through distributed catalysis. SynBio4Flav’s groundbreaking approach has great potential beyond the production of flavonoids. The project’s ultimate goal is to deliver a paradigm shift in biotechnological manufacturing of complex natural chemicals.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients occurring naturally in plants. There are over 6,000 types of flavonoids, each with its unique set of benefits. Flavonoid-rich foodstuffs include parsley, onions, berries, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, all citrus fruits, bananas, sea-buckthorns, buckwheat, Ginkgo biloba, red wine and dark chocolate. Flavonoids have incredible health benefits. Depending on the type they can exhibit anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties. They also support our immune and cardiovascular systems and help to modulate key functions of enzymes in our cells.
Flavonoids are used in numerous applications including functional food & beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Despite the growing market demand for flavonoids, current production is constrained by conventional manufacturing processes using plant-based sources. Furthermore, their production remains elusive to chemical synthesis and biotech-based approaches.