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Opportunities and Advantages in Green

By: Sara Mason
Posted: January 19, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The company’s initial target is emollient esters for skin care applications. The anticipated launch will highlight 2-ethylhexyl palmitate (a common cosmetic ester, with additional emollient esters to follow. A vital building block in thousands of beauty industry products, esters are used as emollients, emulsifiers and specialty performance ingredients. Annual cosmetic ester consumption in North America is estimated at more than 50,000 metric tons. When using the biocatalytic process and sourcing natural raw materials, Eastman can produce both natural and green ingredients, which allows brands to meet the demand for the use of sustainable and renewable ingredients. The green profile of these ingredients is related to the manufacturing process used to produce them rather than the raw materials used, explained Natale.

“We are looking at the technology to see where else we can apply it, and are currently investigating manufacturing green surfactants,” she adds. In addition, investment into green polymers could be valuable as it would impact packaging in addition to the products themselves. As a majority of ingredients fall into the categories of surfactants and polymers, in addition to thickeners, those could be key areas for development.

Renewable Resources

The increasing demand for natural products can have a negative impact on the environment. Concerned about biopiracy and species extinction, the industry is striving to source its raw material in the best way in order to protect the environment—using certified channels, fair trades and, now, plant cell cultures.

Arch Personal Care Products plans to launch its Regenistem line at the 2011 In-cosmetics show in Milan. The Regenistem process allows the company to take only small quantities of plant cells from seeds or leaves, grow them in culture plates and then into bioreactors. The controlled environment allows the company to push the potential of the plants to the limit and manufacture very interesting ingredients.

“The process allows us to harvest rare or old plants and isolate unique actives or enhance the production of them, all while controlling the biomass in the laboratory,” says Vince Gruber, PhD, director of research for Arch Personal Care Ingredients. The process minimizes requirements for harvest and cultivation, which wastes resources and opens the world of opportunity for the industry.