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Shelf Life: The Future of Preservatives

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“What is really important is finding the preservative system that works and is safe,” says Steinberg. “Cost should always be secondary to these two items. The cost of a recall and the damage to a company’s reputation is too high a price to pay for an inexpensive preservative that fails.”

Preservatives and Compliance

Rohm and Haas Company discussed recent breakthroughs in the skin preservative area, citing Neolone™, in particular. According to Bill Mahoney, market manager, North American Preservatives, Rohm and Haas, the company recently has secured approvals in both Japan and Europe for the preservative for use in the personal care market. “The health and safety requirements set forth by these regulatory authorities are rigorous,” says Mahoney. “And we are proud that our product has met these standards.” The preservative also is allowed for use in 18 other countries, including the United States. “It was important for Rohm and Haas to secure these key approvals because the market is looking for global solutions and greater choice for their skin care products,” says Mahoney, noting that the company offers both a single preservative and preservative systems.

According to Mahoney, a preservative system must be robust enough to fight common bacteria and be stable over a wide range of pHs, making it compatible with a broad range of other skin care raw materials.

For a cosmetic manufacturer, brand reputation is critical, so at the end of the day, reliability and safety are of paramount concern. “Personal care manufacturers need to know their product is protected’ and that they can count on their preservative to work the same way every time,” says Mahoney.

Synergistic Systems

Preservative systems are becoming more innovative. “Many in the personal care industry have an interest in reducing their reliance on traditional preservatives,” says Mary Clarke, sales development director, Uniqema. “This is leading formulators to explore new options in the area of product preservation. One approach that is receiving significant attention centers on preservative enhancement, whereby ingredients such as Arlasilk™ Phospholipid PTM can serve to boost the effect of traditional preservatives.