Spero Renewables has developed a patented process for extracting ferulic acid from corn fiber. This ferulic acid makes a high-caliber natural vanilla flavoring that is an alternative to flavoring from vanilla beans. The price of vanilla beans has increased by over 400% over the last few years and it is now more expensive by weight than silver, leading to deforestation and a destabilizing spree of violence in Madagascar, the source of most of the world’s production. The price has gotten so high that it has become unaffordable for many food manufacturers and consumers. Spero is uniquely positioned to fulfill the large demand for a natural vanilla alternative to the vanilla bean and in the process help to protect the world’s rain forests which offset CO2 emissions. As evidence of the value of demand for the product, Spero has received a substantial initial purchase order from one of the world’s largest flavoring companies with intention that they are interested in buying much larger quantities.
Spero’s proprietary SPERLU™ technology produces polymers from plant-based sources, like wood pulp. The resulting polymers are renewable, much more environmentally friendly, free of emission, and formaldehyde-free vs. current polymers that come from petrochemicals and are manufactured with formaldehyde. Polymers are used in huge quantities for many industrial applications, including to make the particleboard that is used to manufacture furniture and laminate flooring. Several years ago, the formaldehyde in laminate flooring made the news as toxic amounts of formaldehyde gas were seeping out of some laminate flooring, an event that greatly raised the awareness and demand for alternative, greener polymers. Spero is the sole producer of formaldehyde free polymers.