Firmenich, which merged with Dutch company DSM in May 2023, continues to explore more environmentally friendly processes. After pioneering SFE extraction, a technique in which CO2 is compressed to a supercritical fluid state, in 1995, the company is developing a different approach since 2021Using the water contained in biomass as a medium to extract its odorous components. Firgood was born from a simple idea.
A patented process
The technique consists of two stages. At the first stage, biomass obtained from the collection of flowers or other types of plants (vegetables, fruits and even spices) is pre-moistened. It is then heated for a short time by electromagnetic vibrations.
“Under the influence of electromagnetic waves, water molecules undergo friction and explode, revealing their aromatic notes.“explains Fabrice Pellegrin, Senior Perfumer and Director of Natural Products Innovation and Development at dsm-firmenich. “Exposure time to waves is reduced, long-term thermal shock is avoided, thus protecting the fragile components of the plants while respecting their naturalness.he adds. In the second stage, this extract is subjected to another technological process to separate water from aromatic molecules.
A fragrance palette enriched with new essences
“Today dsm-firmenich can offer: more than twenty fully developed fir extracts,“says Fabrice Pellegrin.”These new products open the doors to a whole new world of possibilities. This technique can be applied to fruits and vegetables such as green peppers, as well as delicate materials such as flowers, which until now were considered “silent”. It can also provide perfumers with new scent profiles that come from classic raw materials but with new properties.“
So, compared to the traditional absolute, jasmine grandiflorum Firgood country It gives a new, airy lightness, free of animal notes, as if it was placed in a basket at harvest time. Firgood country lavandin It resembles a freshly picked flower that you rub in your palm and loses its camphor note. Ginger Fir It reveals its fresh and lively aspects. Fame Paco Rabanne is the first fragrance to include jasmine grandiflorum pays Firgood in its composition. The brand describes it this way: “A jasmine of extraordinary purity.“
The extracts prepared in the factory are presented to perfumers for approval at the “Masters Meeting”. Honorine Blanc, Olivier Cresp, Nathalie Lorson and Alberto Morillas later meet at Villa Botanica in Grasse, recently opened by dsm-firmenich. Master perfumers are directly involved in the research and development process, expressing their expectations when trying to create a scent. “For example, we decided to develop the green pepper Firgood. This extract is very interesting because it complements the ingredient palette by developing a green, attractive and modern scent profile; This is not the case with all natural green ingredients and can often be harsh.” details Fabrice Pellegrin, who was at the origin of these regular meetings.
in accordance with nature
Firgood’s innovation arose from the desire to avoid the use of volatile solvents used in traditional extraction techniques. “Electromagnetic extraction does not use petrochemical solvents, only water. Residues from extracted biomass are easier to reuse because they do not contain solvents. They can be recycled or re-extracted to produce extracts with a complementary scent profile, strengthening the sustainability of this revolutionary technology.” emphasizes Fabrice Pellegrin.
Moreover, the use of electromagnetic waves reduces the time that perfume plants are exposed to heating, which saves energy. Extraction of lavandin takes only 15 minutes instead of the 55 minutes required for traditional distillation.