What is ergothioneine?
Ergothioneine for Cosmetics

NAGASE's Biotechnology

The NAGASE Group (NAGASE) goes beyond the framework of a trading company and provides technological value that other companies cannot create by developing their biotechnology. NAGASE possesses basic techniques related to the research, development, and production of microorganisms, fermentation products, enzymes, and enzymatic reactants. By combining these technologies, NAGASE can conduct the screening of microorganisms and realize the development and production of new materials; thus, satisfying the needs of our customers and partners.

*1MI (Material informatics) is a field of new material development technology that combines cutting-edge data processing techniques and materials science. NAGASE’s MI platform, TABRASATM, stores data from over 10,000,000 cases, sourced from books, public databases, published articles, etc.


Material production by fermentation​

A major feature is the possession of enzymatic and fermentative production technologies. Particularly, we have developed NAGASE’s Streptomyces Technology for Precious Products (N-STePPTM), which is the efficient biotechnological fermentation method. Thus, we have succeeded in significantly improving the productivity of various enzymes derived from Streptomyces. (N-STePPTM is a registered trademark of NAGASE & Co., Ltd.).

Streptomyces violaceoruber

Provided by Yamanashi University

Streptomyces can (gene sequences and actual production function) synthesize more diverse compounds than other microorganisms. For example, streptomycin and ivermectin were found in Streptomyces. The former is a drug used for treating tuberculosis, and the latter is a parasite repellent discovered by Nobel Prize-winner—Professor Satoshi Omura, of Kitasato University.
Streptomyces are also known for their advantages, such as continuous material production for long periods and their ability to produce materials that Escherichia coli and yeasts cannot produce.
Additionally to fermentative production by Streptomyces, NAGASE has developed technology related to material production using yeast and Escherichia coli. Thus, companies are highly satisfied by our achievements in various fields, including material production, food, and industrial enzymes.

NAGASE will start providing ergothioneine produced using this technology and commits to contributing to the stable supply of inexpensive, highly concentrated, and highly purified ergothioneine toward the global market of the cosmetics, food, and pharmaceutical industries.


Material production using enzymes and improvement in product properties​

Typical examples of material production using enzymes include trehalose (Treha) and isomaltodextrin (Fibryxa) production. These materials are efficiently produced from starch and provided at low costs by the reactions of unique enzymes.

We are conducting not only the development and production of enzymes but also applications of developed enzymes. By improving the physical properties of foods, we provide additional values, such as reducing food waste, improvements in texture and taste, increased emulsifying capacity, elongation of shelf life, and improvement in the texture of the bread. Furthermore, for daily necessities and industrial products, NAGASE adds higher values to the products used by customers by improving product properties and cleaning power as well as reducing the environmental load and contributing to customer’s enriched ways of living.


Search for new compounds using the MI platform ―TABRASA™

The conventional approach to develop new materials has been to repeat tests and experiments. However, recently, the use of MI has made it possible to significantly reduce development costs and time, and it is expected to allow the discovery of innovative materials and manufacturing methods. With the MI platform, TABRASATM, we are promoting the streamlining and innovation of research and development. In the field of biotechnology, TABRASATM stores huge amounts of data from more than 10,000,000 cases. Based on the data, we can search for new and alternative materials that suit the customers’ needs.

For example, to search for enzymes that produce Material A, the enzymatic pathways related to Material A are searched from the database, and the target material is derived from a knowledge graph showing this relationship.

Knowledge graph covering enzymes

Furthermore, even for existing compounds, NAGASE can provide improved technology for the efficient production of target materials by making full use of genetic recombination, enzyme engineering, and metabolic engineering through the use of TABRASATM.

From this research, we have established a one-stop technology for the production and development of valuable compounds.

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