Biotech firm scales lab-made ‘royal’ dye

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BEDFORD – Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Conagen says it has successfully scaled up the production of its laboratory-made Tyrian purple textile pigment which is traditionally made from the mucus of murex sea snails.

Conagen says its Tyrian purple, which is produced by precision fermentation and bioconversion, is a natural, sustainable dye which can help textile companies to reduce their environmental impact.

Around 10,000 predatory sea snails are required to make just one gram of Tyrian purple, also known as Phoenician purple, royal purple and imperial purple, making it impracticable, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly.

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