Unilever and Arzeda use AI to develop performance-boosting enzymes in record time for Unilever’s Home Care Products

June 18, 2023

Unilever and Arzeda have developed new enzymes with increased stability, performance and sustainability benefits for cleaning and laundry products in just 18 months – five times faster than previous enzyme development. The new enzymes – which are a key stain-fighting ingredient in household products – could halve the number of ingredients currently needed to deliver effective cleaning.

This latest milestone, which is part of a multi-year partnership with Unilever Home Care, was achieved in record time using Arzeda’s Intelligent Protein Design Technology™. The proprietary technology platform combines physics-based protein design and artificial intelligence (AI) to create new proteins and enzymes that fight stains better, use less household water and energy, and replace petrochemical-derived ingredients in household cleaning products. The partnership supports Unilever’s Clean Future strategy, a way of transforming some of the most popular cleaning and laundry brands in the world to become lower carbon and lower waste, with the same or even better performance.

“As part of Unilever’s Clean Future strategy, we’re investing in cutting-edge technologies to develop the next generation of sustainable, high-performance cleaning products. The progress made in just 18 months with Arzeda’s Intelligent Protein Design Technology™ shows how the convergence of Artificial Intelligence and biology is a game-changer for an industry like home care,” said Peter ter Kulve, Unilever Home Care President.

Since beginning work with Unilever in July 2021, Arzeda has been responsible for the design, strain engineering and initial scale up of the new enzymes. Production of the enzymes in real-world testing quantities has been completed, demonstrating the new enzymes can be used within Unilever’s portfolio of Home Care brands.

“The progress that we’ve made in just 18 months is a testament to not only our collaborative relationship with Unilever but the impact that our Intelligent Protein Design Technology™ can make,” said Alexandre Zanghellini, Ph.D., CEO of Arzeda. “As we continue to scale up production, we’re extremely excited and optimistic about the incredible potential this partnership has for consumers and our planet.”

The partnership will advance Unilever’s commitment to reach net zero emissions from all its products by 2039.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 148,000 employees and generated sales of €60.1 billion in 2022.

Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. We have a long tradition of being a progressive, responsible business.

The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while:

  • improving the health of the planet
  • improving people’s health, confidence and wellbeing
  • and contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.

For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit www.unilever.com.

About Arzeda

Arzeda harnesses the power of Intelligent Protein Design Technology™ – combining physics-based protein design and AI algorithms – to create and manufacture new designer proteins and enzymes that enhance our lives and protect our planet. In partnership with Fortune 500 companies and industrial leaders, we develop healthy and sustainable products for the food & nutrition, consumer products, advanced materials, and diagnostics & pharma industries globally – delivering on the promise of biotechnology. For more information, please visit www.arzeda.com.

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