Breakthrough on ARC-WCBG research project

On September 16th, Wonderful Capital Biotechnology Group and the Australian Federal Government entity, the Green Chemistry Application Centre of the Australian Research Council, jointly established a scientific research. This  milesgtone project report, "Biorefining and Production of Brown Seaweed Polyphenols and its application in skin health" has been completed. This report demonstrates the feasibility of extracting phlorotannins, a key component of brown algae polyphenols, from natural eutectic solvents in South Australia, paving the way for further industrial applications.

Mr Yifei Xu, Executive President, and Mr Ziye Wang, Chairman of the board, together with Professor Wei Zhang and Professor Kirsten Heimann of the National Ocean Center, and Dr Adele Mastroyannis, Dr Trung Nguyen, the project research team leader, participated and attended in this report.

About the ARC-WCBG training project

This scientific research project is part of the "Green Chemistry Application and Training Program" between the Federal Research Council and Wonder Capital Biotechnology Group. Since January 2019, the Federal government has allocated 3.6 million Australian dollars to develop high-value and environmental protection jointly with enterprises. Industrial application of technology in the field of biochemistry. As one of the important strategic projects of the company, WCBG has set up five different technical working groups and contributed significant funds to support the corresponding scientific research and the transformation of later outputs. The scientific research program will continue to be carried out in the next three years.


"Natural anti-photoaging mechanism from seaweed"

Phlorotannins is an exceptional polyphenol compound currently only found in brown algae, especially in the waters near South Australia. Phlorotannins in Australian brown algae are a natural protective mechanism developed by brown algae cells against Australia's intense ultraviolet radiation. Current research has shown that it has the following effects: anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and inhibiting cancer occurrence, high-efficiency photo-damage protection factor, anti-nerve damage and promote wound healing.

Since its discovery, many studies have focused on its biological activity and efficacy. Because of its extremely low water solubility and oxidation sensitivity, the bioavailability of Phlorotannins has been considered too low to be used industrially. Both conventional extraction methods and ultrasonic vibration extraction methods are not effective.

Based on this problem, WCBG has teamed up with Flinders University to develop an innovative extraction process of the natural eutectic solvent extraction-enzyme catalysis combined method. It is now possible to commercialise products and practice on a new generation of skincare products developed from Phlorotannins. Based on the characteristics of polysaccharides and alginate polysaccharides that have a more robust structure in their cell membranes, the research team enhanced the conduction of metabolites by increasing the temperature and changing the viscosity coefficient of the solvent, breaking through the cell wall and releasing under the protection of the group. The polyphenol complexes further reuse the specific characteristics of enzyme catalysis to release the protection and release the target factor.

*Comparison of efficiency between conventional extraction and ultrasonic extraction and NaDES combined extraction

During the development process, the scientific research team discovered that different centrifugal speeds have potential effects on the properties of the extracts. The original extracts showed significant differences under the conditions of high-speed centrifugation. Therefore, the work team plans to introduce more powerful centrifugal equipment to further verify the results in the future scientific research plan.


* The extracts under high-speed centrifugation show significant differences

At the same time, other solutions, such as the supercritical carbon dioxide method, subcritical water extraction, and pulsed electric field method, will continue to be tested. In the following research, the scientific research team will further test and improve the extraction process and continue to verify the known issues related to the findings.

"Possibility of Productization"

After the milestone report, Mr Xu Yifei, Executive President of Wonder Capital Biotechnology Group, introduced to us the impact of technological achievements on the future industry. "I am very confident about the future contribution of phlorotannins-related technical achievements to the industry," he said. "From the current results, we have at least been able to apply this technology to the company's next-generation skincare products. I believe that next year, Australian consumers and our major overseas customers will first see the products based on this technology. 
Speaking of further plans, he said that in the future, he would focus on testing the purification model of the compound extract so that it can be applied in more fields, such as health food and medicine. "If the purification work goes well, we will test the possibility of its application in functional health products and medicines. We will know this result as early as the end of this year, and if everything goes well, we will file a TGA application and propose the registration next year.
At present, the intellectual property protection work is also in progress, and related patents will be filed as late publication in due course to ensure a sufficient preparation period for industrialisation. WCBG plans to increase collaboration with partners in the coming time to most efficiently put Australia's innovative scientific research results, especially marine biotechnology achievements, into the global market.