Making Distilled Alcoholic Beverages Smoother

Voodoo Food technology

Voodoo Scientific, a company creating capabilities to help distillers deliver meaningful innovation, and Ginkgo Bioworks, the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, announced Voodoo's plans to leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services to optimise an enzymatic solution to enable distillers to produce ultra-premium spirit products that are genuinely smooth.

To support the development of the enzyme critical to Voodoo's product, Ginkgo will leverage its extensive protein discovery and design capabilities to design and optimise the enzyme for various conditions in spirits manufacturing, from craft to global-scale production environments.

Most distilled alcoholic beverages produce some degree of a harsh sensation, or "bite," when consumed, which is a significant deterrent for many potential customers. No mellowing technique used by distillers to date has eliminated this unpleasant attribute. Voodoo Scientific identified the scientific cause for this harshness and created their enzymatic solution to allow distillers to manage it. Distillers can use this novel enzymatic solution to produce more premium products by creating smooth spirits. Voodoo's ability to make smoother spirits also enables the development of new flavour profiles across the full range of spirits types.

The Voodoo enzymatic solution targets and eliminates only the specific compounds responsible for the harshness of alcohol while not affecting other components of the beverage's flavour profile. Voodoo's enzymatic solution also does not require spirits producers to change their existing processes or equipment. It is added as a processing aid during fermentation so it does not persist into the bottle. Voodoo Scientific's enzymatic solution was recently recognised as a top innovation in the spirits industry at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) annual conference.

"Providing distillers with a means to eliminate, or control, the harshness of their spirits products is very gratifying," said Joana Montenegro, co-founder and Chief Science Officer at Voodoo.

"We can enable innovation in this large global industry and significant ways for consumers seeking premium experiences. Ginkgo was the best choice of partners for us among the ones we considered because of their unique combination of strong scientific capabilities and a business model that fits an early-stage company like ours."

Jennifer Wipf, SVP, Head of Commercial Cell Engineering at Ginkgo, said that engineering this class of enzyme to operate under the unique conditions required for distilled alcoholic beverages was an excellent application for Ginkgo Enzyme Services.

"Improving the functionality of enzymes underpinning critical production processes, making enzymes work better, is an area we're passionate about because it opens up real business opportunities for our customers, especially as they push into new product development," concluded Wipf.