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Purification of irone precursors

Domain Health and wellbeing

Technology Green chemistry processes


The irones are precious in perfumery for their smell and their important fixing capacity to keep the perfume persistence in time.

  • The innovation is a method of purification of irone precursors (Iridals), extracted from fresh iris rhizome, using Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC).


Extract and purify irones precursors from rhizomes are huge challenges for perfume industrials

  • Small-scale production: 1 hectare of iris only gives 1kg of absolu
  • Long process : After 2 or 3 years in the soil, the rhizomes are dried for 3 to 5 years
  • Risk of altered quality : Pressure to reduce harvesting or drying times as well as extraction by solvent can affect olfactory quality of the irones
  • Expensive production cost : 100 000€ for 1 kg of absolute


  • Large-scale production: purifying from irone precursors allows to multiply yield by 3
  • Shortened process : only few days by using fresh rhizomes and cutting the 4 years of culture and drying
  • Preserved quality : CPC purification avoids the irreversible adsorption of solvent and guarantees to get the best representation of iridals in the final filtrate, which can extend the perfumer palette.
  • Lowered production cost : This method, fully compatible with an easy industrial scale-up, allows extracting 3 times more irones than current methods in 3 times faster.



Molecular biology, Synthetic biology, Heterologous expression, Engineering of biosynthetic pathways

BORDEAUX University


Patent : WO2018091479






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