From postbiotics and natural preservatives to the fermentation pipeline, Blue California talks about its new direction at SupplySide West 2021


For ingredient supplier Blue California (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA), October’s SupplySide West show was the first time the company showcased many of its recently introduced ingredients. The company took care of ingredient innovation, and that is part of its new strategic direction.

“The great thing you can see around you is the rebranding of Blue California,” said David Tetzlaf, marketing director, Blue California, at SupplySide West. “And it’s not a cosmetic change. We have gone from a 25-year-old legacy company that produced botanical extracts to now focus on ingredients made by bioconversion, or fermentation, through our partner Conagen. I don’t think we’ve promoted this partnership too much, and we’re happy to promote it here.

Fermentation innovation

Through their partnership, Blue California and Conagen (Bedford, MA) are working to bring new nutritional and food ingredients to market. “Conagen is primarily responsible for creating the strains, processes and coordinating the manufacturing of all of these ingredients that Blue California then markets,” said J. Casey Lippmeier, PhD, vice president of innovation at Conagen, during the show.

The fruits of their labor include hydroxytyrosol, which the companies announced last September, as well as an ingredient nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Both are produced by fermentation.

The companies are also offering ErgoActive L-ergothioneine, an amino acid found mainly in mushrooms, which a study1 published at the end of last year showed that it helps preserve the length of telomeres, reducing their shortening from 27% to 52%, to promote healthy aging. Lippemeier said the companies are the only companies making ergothionein through fermentation on a large scale. “We are one of the only sources to make it by fermentation,” he said. “There is another company that makes it chemically, which is good, but it’s more expensive and it prevents clean label claims. We can make it cheaper, more competitive, and we can get the clean label claims. We are also going to be one of the more regular suppliers because we have the largest production of ergothionein globally. This is another company that I’m aware of that manufactures by fermentation, but it doesn’t have the capacity that we have, so it won’t be able to serve as a large market or achieve the same economies of scale. “

Natural preservatives are also in the wheelhouse of companies. This summer, the partners announced an expanded line of natural preservatives produced by fermentation, including p-coumaric acid (PCA). They also offer a 98% high purity rosmarinic acid preservative.

“We currently have a portfolio of about 30 natural preservative molecules that are in an early stage, what we call matrix assays,” Lippmeier said. “Matrix refers to two things: both for a beverage matrix or a food matrix, but also, an experimental matrix literally of all these different combinations of preservatives at different concentrations. “

He continued, “This is early stage research, but we’re actually starting to get combinations that are at least in the beverage matrices we’ve tested so far that can replace benzoic acid and l ‘sorbic acid, and they work even better, actually. So it’s really exciting. We have to confirm a lot of these results, but I expect that in the next two or three quarters, we will announce them as something. something that we have scaled up and also developed an application for. In terms of single ingredient preservatives, the companies already offer taxifolin BC-DHQ (good for antioxidant applications) and the based preservative. Rosavel rosmarinic acid (which is water soluble, odorless and tasteless), hydroxytyrosol (which is heat stable), and p-coumaric acid (ideal for cosmetic applications).

The company’s goal is to help formulators replace ingredients such as benzoic acid and sorbic acid in beverages, or butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) in applications. lipid-based, Lipppmeier said.


Blue California is also entering the postbiotics market with its new ingredient BeneAll, which the company calls “an innovative postbiotic liberator for a healthy gut,” targeting the microbial butyrate metabolite.

Linda May-Zhang, PhD, Head of Research, Science and Innovation at Blue California, explained the benefits of BeneAll to SupplySide West. “It’s strictly a butyric acid releaser, and it’s the only ingredient we know of that can release butyric acid without any odor. Everyone else – sodium butyrate, even tributyrin – has some odor, and this has been a limitation for consumer use as well as continued compliance in clinical trials.

BeneAll is in the pre-market phase, she said, and the company is currently working on generally recognized as safe status in the United States and on approvals in Europe with the European Food Safety Authority. The ingredient was invented by a pediatric gastroenterologist, she added, with the first clinical studies performed in infants. “We are going to invest in an adult clinic for adult use in food, drink and dietary supplements,” she said.

The science supporting BeneAll as a postbiotic is growing, she said. “On butyric acid alone, there is scientific support to strengthen the intestinal barrier function, anti-inflammatory and increase the natural antioxidant defense system of the intestine to fight against oxidative stress. New evidence suggests that butyric acid is good for immune health, metabolic health, as well as the brain and cognition, but it’s still emerging. “

She concluded, “So we are looking at applications in the future for BeneAll in terms of gut health and other exciting categories as well. “

Other new introductions to SupplySide West for Blue California include the company’s Sensegen division for natural and sustainable flavors, and a drink prototype called Zenenergy containing Sweegen’s company Bestevia stevia, Sensegen’s Berry Bliss flavor, L-TeaActive L-theanine and ErgoActive L -ergothioneine.


  1. Samuel P et al. “Ergothionein attenuates telomere shortening under conditions of oxidative stress.” Dietary Supplement Journal. Published online ahead of print on December 7, 2020.

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