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Biotechnology-based Ingredients, the Hidden Part of "Natural" Products

SpecialChem / Jean-Pierre Molitor – Jan 25, 2012

Actual consumer's demands for "natural" cosmetic ingredients are well perceived by the major suppliers in personal care. You just need to count the company booth's at a fair like "In-Cosmetics" showing pictures of sunflowers fields or alike to demonstrate the natural origin of (some of) their products. I have hardly ever seen at such fairs fermenters or pictures of fungi strains (despite their beauty) which may have been at the origin of these natural products. Even producers of citric or lactic acid, which are among the most well-known fermentation products, do not refer explicitly to the biosynthetic origin of their products. This may change nevertheless in the next couple of years if the actual start-up companies succeed to produce cosmetic ingredients from algae farms or biomass. As in the past cosmetics applications will benefit from research and product developments made previously in pharmaceutical & food applications. Antimicrobial peptides e.g. have been initially explored in pharmaceuticals and cleaning formulations before being introduced in cosmetics.

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