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JANIA: A MACRO-ALGA IN A PHOTO-BIOREACTOR
THE AMBITIOUS CORAIL ARTEFACT PROJECT
FROM BIOTECHNOLOGY TO BIOTH-ECOLOGY
When we ask Romuald Vallée, what the concept of Bioth-Ecology is, he answers «the ecology of the future». This word is of course taken from the word biotechnology. According to the company and its director, to continue to dip into the planet’s reserves is no longer a sustainable solution. Moreover, it is clear that this is becoming an increasingly important purchasing criterion for consumers. Indeed, in Europe, 67 to 75% of consumers say that they are interested in scientifically produced ingredients that are comparable in quality to natural ingredients and ingredients that preserve natural resources. What are the different strategies that a company can adopt to meet consumers’ expectations?
The first is to harvest wild plants carefully, respecting the life cycle of the plant and imposed harvesting. But this solution is not sustainable. Indeed, this strategy cannot work ad vitam aeternam, especially when it comes to organisms with a laborious reproduction and a slow growth.
The second option is to grow plants in greenhouses or in fields. This is of course a much more virtuous solution, but it is not suitable for all the raw materials that we might use. For example, it is impossible to create a field of micro-organisms.
This is how we arrive at a third strategy. The one called biotechnology, meaning the technologies of the living. This technology makes it possible to cultivate the living without ever putting pressure on nature. To do this, Codif Technologie Naturelle takes a microorganism from the sea before placing it in a bio bank. The company has three banks in total, two in Brittany and one at the Pasteur Institute. This way, the company only needs this one sample, which it reuses thanks to successive replications.
So why add «ecology» in this case to the word biotechnology? Unlike other companies, Codif only does natural as Romuald Vallée explains:
Codif Technologie Naturelle uses high value-added cultivation technologies to grow plants and algae, identically to their natural environment.
The Bioth-Ecology culture, is a culture that is not in opposition to the greenhouse culture. In fact, it only applies to rare or fragile microorganisms and algae. For these elements Bioth-Ecology is a technology of «copy and paste» of the living. In this mode of culture, specific living conditions, corresponding to those of the natural habitat of the organism, are recreated. For example, some micro-organisms produce EPS thanks to the currents created by a storm. In this case, the researchers applie these conditions to the micro-organism in their bioreactors. And since all the elements are controlled during its culture, it is possible for Codif Technologie Naturelle to produce its active ingredients in an even more virtuous way.
The company can indeed use a light powered by green electricity for example.
According to Romuald, the ultimate goal of Codif’s use of Bioth-Ecology is «to take nature, which is already a work of art, and extract the quintessence of it to eliminate everything that parasites it.» Today, Codif Technologie Naturelle offers 49 active ingredients. Among them, 22% are from Bioth-Ecology, 18% are from greenhouse or marine cultures and 18% are from virtuous harvests (certified organic).