Symrise serves manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics, and foods in addition to the pharmaceutical industry and producers of nutritional supplements on a global scale. We are successfully active in both established markets as well as in emerging countries in Asia, Latin America or the Middle East. By actively designing our products with global trends in mind, we meet various customer preferences arising from social and cultural differences. Symrise’s product portfolio ranges from fragrance and flavor solutions to cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials as well as functional ingredients.
Our product development is equal parts centralized and decentralized: The individual divisions manage and guide their own respective research and development (R & D) activities. At the same time, the individual business units share information to take advantage of synergy effects. Release systems and bioactive ingredients as well as analytical and sensory research, for example, are subjects with cross-divisional importance that we approach together and implement accordingly.
A company-wide uniform stage gate process with decision filters guides the innovation process at Symrise from idea to market-ready product. This allows us to react to changing customer needs and market conditions at an early stage. Growth plans that have been coordinated with our customers also allow us to bring our innovations to the market more quickly. Numerous projects with international key customers in 2013 underscore our belief that sustainability and profitable growth go hand in hand and provide all parties with long-term benefits.
We also aim to combine creativity and efficiency with resource conservation and environmental preservation. The open innovation approach is our guiding principle in this matter: We incorporate our regional and international customers in numerous developmental projects and collaborate with them. Symrise has received many customer awards in the area of innovation as a result of these successful collaborations.
When it comes to consumer wishes, our market research shows a clear trend towards products that not only appeal to the senses, but also provide positive benefits for overall health and well-being. We have integrated this desire into our business strategy and aim to continually increase sales with products that contribute to health, nutrition, skin care and skin protection. In 2013, Symrise AG received a loan of € 125 million for the research of functional ingredients for skin care and healthy nutrition from the European Investment Bank.
Beyond our internal research and development departments, the Scent & Care and Flavor & Nutrition divisions both maintain comprehensive partnerships with other companies, renowned universities and research institutions in Bochum, Braunschweig, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Giessen, Greifswald, Halle (Saale), Hanover, Munich, Münster, Potsdam and Rostock. Across the globe, we worked with institutions such as Queen Mary University in London, University of Tours in France and the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia (USA) in 2013, as well as companies like Cutech (Italy), EcoBiotics (Australia), Essen BioScience (UK) and Therapeutic Peptides (USA) among others. For years, both divisions have received assistance from international scientific advisory boards consisting of internationally renowned researchers specializing in various fields. These committees accompany and provide advice on the implementation of the latest research findings in new product innovations.
As a result, the Flavor & Nutrition (F & N) research team was able to present new substances for masking bitter flavors at the internationally distinguished Wartburg symposium in April 2013. The results stemmed from a cooperation with the Halle-based Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry. Additionally, the F & N research team also presented papers on a new, sweet-tasting natural substance together with the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry and the German Institute of Human Nutrition. And at the Flavor & Fragrance Symposium in Leipzig, we presented our comprehensive research on identifying new, organic umami substances. The F & N research team also demonstrated new, sustainable biotechnological methods for extracting natural flavors at the Biotrans in Manchester and at the Biotechnica in Hanover. In the Scent & Care division, we presented ourselves to the German Chemical Society as a co-organizer of the Flavor & Fragrance conference in Leipzig. At the same time, we were among the main presenters – lecturing on the synthesis of modern aromatic and flavor substances. We discussed the topic of sustainability and fragrances at the Cleaning Products Europe Conference in Prague. At the 22nd IFSCC Conference in Rio de Janeiro, we also presented the latest research results. Our research and development activities are highly regarded within the scientific community. In 2013, Symrise submitted 33 patents and was therefore at the top of the industry – as evidenced by our high level of innovative strength. 13
Beauty, Scents and Care
The Scent & Care division with its four business units – Life Essentials, Fragrances, Aroma Molecules and Oral Care – offers its customers competencies in fragrances, beauty and care. The main goal for this division is the development of safe, efficient and sustainable products and processes.
- Life Essentials develops new active ingredients that follow the trends in beauty and health with its technical expertise in the areas of phytochemistry, efficacy screening and analytical chemistry. In 2013, three sustainable products were launched based on microalgae research: SymBronze® 1659 (biological skin tanner), SymHairTM Force 1631 and SymLashTM 1631 (volumizer for hair and lashes). The awards these products received, including the “Best Ingredient Silver Award” from the “in-cosmetics Innovation Zone 2013” and the “BSB Innovation Award,” highlight the high level of innovation within Life Essentials’ research department. In the field of multifunctional substances, the intensive research initiatives of the past few years resulted in the launch of SymSaveTM H, a true multi-talent with very good anti-irritant, antioxidant and anti-microbial effectiveness as well as outstanding emulsion-stabilizing properties. Directly after reaching the market in 2013, SymSaveTM H took first place at the SEPAWA Innovation Awards.
- In the Fragrances business unit, we combine aromatic raw materials, like essential oils and aroma chemicals, to create complex perfume oils. In 2012, we began to hold special training sessions for our perfumers to increase the usage of renewable raw materials in fragrance compositions. Outstanding product innovations in 2013 included Sultanene® – a highly efficient captive that can be used in doses 100-times smaller than conventional fruit esters. Or SymCap® K LD, which conserves fragrances in microcapsules, allowing for their release over time through the application of light pressure on a fabric. For the first time, this type of technology is available for liquid detergent.
- Aroma Molecules develops a broad spectrum of aromatic compounds and flavors in various classes. An important application area involves biodegradable, synthetic musk fragranc-es. These adhere to hair, skin and textile fibers substantially better and are a crucial component of perfume oils. We have also been committed to the protection of the musk deer, which our industry used to hunt for its valuable glandular secretions, since 2011.
- The Oral Care business unit was expanded in 2013 as a core competence of Scent & Care. We also established Think Mint® as a cross-divisional brand for mint flavors with the Flavor & Nutrition division. In doing so, we pool our many years of expertise for all of the major mint product groups and research together on new substances and technologies that offer economic and ecological benefits. One example here is our cooling substances. Furthermore, we are attempting to offer our customers added value with the development of new key technologies, such as probiotics. To achieve this, we signed a research and development cooperation contract with the Swedish biotechnology company Probi AB in 2013.
Moreover, we also further expanded our research focus on green chemistry in Scent & Care and began operations in a catalysis laboratory in 2013. Here, Symrise researches catalytic methods for new molecules, develops chemical processes and optimizes existing methods for aromatic substances and flavors as well as for Life Essential products. This increases raw material efficiency, which in turn has a positive impact on our environmental footprint.
Delightful and Healthy Nutrition
Modern consumers expect foods that taste great while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Our Flavor & Nutrition division therefore focuses not only on flavor, quality and safety, but also increasingly on the development of taste solutions for healthier products as well as functional ingredients that promote good health. At the same time, Symrise is serving the growing market for food supplements and pharmaceutical preparations. Natural raw materials combined with scientific methods form the basis for the development of our products. Independent of whether they offer particular health benefits, all of our products must provide excellent flavor. To achieve this, Symrise develops innovative methods that retain authentic flavors while simultaneously allowing for the reduction of sugar, salt, fat or flavor enhancers. Additionally, our researchers develop new systems for masking bitter flavors in high-protein foods with special health requirements. These have already been successfully implemented in Europe and North America. 14
In order to stay abreast of changing consumer desires, Symrise uses its integrated platform taste for life®: Here, we combine consumer research with the needs of the industry and our wide-ranging experience to create a unique strategic instrument. We collaborate as partners with our customers to find taste solutions that fulfill their needs. In 2013, products from the taste for life® portfolio accounted for more than 25 % of our sales by volume in the Flavor & Nutrition division. This includes our flavoring solutions to reduce fat, sodium or sugar content.
Standards and Certificates
Good manufacturing practice is the global basis for responsible behavior with products and manufacturing processes. These guidelines steer quality control for both production processes and the production environment and apply to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and active ingredients as well as for cosmetics, food and animal feed products. They are defined by the laws governing pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and foods.
Many requirements apply across product groups, such as quality requirements, clear product labeling and hygiene requirements. Moreover, legislators have passed corresponding regulations that define requirements specifically for individual product groups. Here, Symrise particularly differentiates between the product groups flavors, pharmaceutical agents and pharmaceutical additives as well as cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials. 15
Flavors: Legislators have laid down various regulations that require good manufacturing practice, but a uniform definition of this is lacking. We abide by the generally accepted requirements and auditing standards of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and other locally recognized standards in order to ensure continual improvement in performance. Since 2013, all of our Flavor & Nutrition production sites are certified according to internationally recognized food safety management systems.
Pharmaceutical Agents: At Symrise, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) that are produced for pharmaceutical end products comply with the GMP rules of the applicable law on pharmaceuticals. Many countries have adopted the ICH Q7A guideline as a binding regulation and adapted it to national definitions in certain cases.
Pharmaceutical Additives: Pharmaceutical additives are materials that are used in pharmaceutical end products but do not have an active effect. These include flavors and colors, for example. There are currently no binding regulations for pharmaceutical additives.
Cosmetic Active Ingredients and Raw Materials: Symrise manufactures the majority of its cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials according to the BRC Standard for Consumer Products. Cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials that are categorized as OTC (over the counter) drugs in the USA are treated like pharmaceutical agents. Symrise’s Scent & Care product safety policy is an essential part of the Integrated Management System. The system is based on the DIN ISO 9001 standard. In addition, Symrise conducts risk analyses and works with an HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) system.
We aim to ensure the safety of our products throughout their entire life cycle. To do this, we integrate all of the relevant steps, from supplier orders to customer delivery, into our product safety policy. Symrise ensures compliance with legislation, requirements laid down by associations and internal standards and continuously monitors this compliance.
The Global Product Compliance Competence Center is responsible for product safety: It implements regulatory requirements, undertakes the toxicological evaluation of raw materials and products and prepares the data for customers and employees around the world. This Competence Center also documents customer restrictions while taking the regulatory environment into consideration (the ruling out of certain substances) and is in charge of monitoring, testing and registering new substances. It commissions product tests from approved laboratories and evaluates test reports. All administrative processes, legislative issues, safety reports, classification into hazard classes and the labeling of raw materials and products are handled centrally and coordinated globally by the Competence Center. Regulatory Affairs and Competence Center employees represent Symrise in the leading international associations of the flavor and fragrance industry.
Our customers are informed about technical characteristics and how to safely handle our products via corresponding data sheets, product specifications and additional, individually tailored informational materials. There were no significant breaches of safety or health regulations in relation to our products at Symrise in 2013.
At the end of 2013, the consumer organization Stiftung Warentest rated a product of the Ritter Sport brand as “poor,” claiming that chemically produced piperonal had been used contrary to the product labeling. Contrary to these claims, Symrise had delivered entirely natural aroma to Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG for the product in question and Ritter had declared to ingredients from Symrise correctly on the label. Ritter has obtained a preliminary injunction against Stiftung Warentest. The Munich District Court I dismissed the appeal from Stiftung Warentest.