Sensient Technologies, a global colors, flavors, and fragrances company, has acquired Mazza Innovation, a Canadian startup with a novel method of extracting plant-based ingredients for the food & beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Mazza, which was founded in 2011, has developed an environmentally-responsible method for extracting bioactive compounds including polyphenols, alkaloids, glycosides, and specialty carbohydrates. Dubbed the “PhytoClean Method” it uses only water and no solvents and Mazza says it enables its clients to “offer consumers a declaration of clean ingredients.”
“This acquisition is extremely significant for Sensient and our customers,” said Paul Manning, chairman, president and CEO of Sensient Technologies. “The combination of our color and flavor expertise, and Mazza’s revolutionary technology, will allow us to conduct extraction from natural plant sources using environmentally friendly extraction methods…instead of traditional chemical solvents. This technology will enable us to work with leading food, cosmetics, and nutraceutical brands to create cost-effective, clean label products that deliver on consumer expectations for taste, color, and functionality.”
Investors in Mazza include Natural Products Canada, a non-profit, public-private partnership to support the commercialization of products from the country. NPC invested in Mazza in September of last year during a C$3 million financing round. The Canadian government also invested C$820k directly in January 2017.
Greenangel Energy, a clean tech investment firm, is also a shareholder investing in the startup in March 2012, according to Crunchbase.
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Mazza Innovation’s founder and namesake Dr. Giuseppe Mazza is a food scientist who has published more than 200 research articles, five books, and more than 30 book chapters for the Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Book Series he founded. He was named by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as one of the world’s most cited and influential researchers in Agricultural Sciences in 2004 and 2014. “While his legacy in food science is firmly established, it is the more recent technology he developed as a Principal Food and Bioscience Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada [the Canadian government’s agrifood department] that will have the most far-reaching social consequences,” reads the website.