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The Mysteries of R&D, Part II: Why Do They Always Say “Not Ready Yet”?

By: Art Rich, PhD
Posted: November 5, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 6 of 6

Trained Technical Evaluator: A trained evaluator is able to make an assessment of any changes in fine lines, skin tone, pigmentation, texture, elasticity, etc. Often, a trained evaluator is used in conjunction with the instrumentation.

Microbiological Challenge Testing (MCT): MCT is conducted to assess the product’s ability to withstand the introduction of microorganisms. During its life with the consumer, a product is exposed to contamination from many sources—airborne particles landing in an uncovered jar, fingertips immersed to pick up and apply product, etc. These sources can present numerous opportunities to contaminate the product. In anticipation of such an onslaught, an antimicrobial agent(s), a preservative, is included in a formula. The MCT will determine if the preservative is at a suitable concentration to do the job of killing any microbes to which the product is exposed. Basically, a mixture of microbes (bacteria, yeast, molds) is introduced into the product. The number of organisms is examined—usually on the day of the initial test and then days 1, 7, 14 and 28 after initial test. Examination at times within the first seven days may give a good indication as to the effectiveness of the product in staving off contamination.

Part 1 is available in the July 2010 issue.

Art Rich, PhD, is a member of the GCI magazine editorial advisory board. In addition, he is founder and chief consultant at A. Rich Development, LLC, which was founded in 2001. Rich has more than 30 years of experience in the development of marketable personal care and cosmetic formulas for such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Avon, and Bath & Body Works. He can be reached at