The Cawthron Natural Compounds (CNC) team specialise in extracting complex organic compounds sourced from algae and other plants.
Cawthron is one of only a few organisations worldwide with the expertise to culture large volumes of these organisms and efficiently purify the bioactive compounds.
The purified compounds we produce are supplied to laboratories worldwide for use as Certified Reference Materials for food safety testing and research.
Purification and extraction process
The highly-sophisticated process we have developed, involves extracting, isolating and purifying these bioactive compounds from algae.
This capability was initially developed in response to the demand for biotoxin reference material needed for research and monitoring of marine toxins that impact on seafood safety, but it also has other applications that will help keep New Zealand at the forefront of the global biotechnology industry.
Sigma-Aldrich supply agreement
A supply agreement between Cawthron and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation has enabled the biotoxin reference standards made at Cawthron to be available through this international distribution channel.
This partnership also allows the CNC team to focus on producing stock for Sigma sales and to continue to offer their expertise to biotechnology companies for future research and commercial opportunities.
Expertise in action
An example of how we are applying this unique capability is our work with New Zealand biological control company Biotelliga. We have collaborated with Biotelliga to develop a natural alternative to synthetic pesticides.
Our CNC team helped validate the outcomes of the field trials and from there, replicate it in the laboratory, and then isolate and measure the active compounds.
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