Dr Straetmans develops natural fungicidal ingredient

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dr straetmans Chemical substance

Germany-based Dr Straetmans has created a fungicidal
ingredient that it claims is a major development in the search for
natural alternatives to conventional preservatives.

Manufacturers of natural cosmetics are currently frustrated by the lack of alternatives to traditional preservatives on the market and often feel forced to use 'nature-identical' substances instead.

These 'nature identical' ingredients are produced synthetically but are chemically identical to substances that are found in nature.

Filling a natural gap Although certification bodies often permit the use of these products in natural cosmetics, Dr Straetmans has developed a plant-based fungicidal ingredient called Dermosoft 688 ECO (INCI: p-Anisic Acid) that is arguably more natural than 'nature identical' preservatives.

Dr Straetmans spokesperson Dr. Fernando Ibarra told CosmeticsDesign.com that the new Ecocert-listed fungicidal ingredient is perfectly comparable to 'nature identical' ingredients and an improvement on other plant derived alternatives.

Ibarra said natural product manufacturers sometimes use essential oils to fight the growth of fungi but these can cause allergies and vary in their properties depending on their origins.

Dr Straetmans will be launching Dermosoft 688 ECO at In-Cosmetics in Amsterdam next month, where it will market the plant derived fungicidal ingredient as a pure substance with reproducible and reliable efficacy.

Dermosoft 688 ECO may be added to formulations with bactericidal ingredients to provide cosmetic products with more complete protection from microbiological deterioration.

Dr Straetmans said its own tests suggest that the best results are achieved when the ingredient is used with bactericidal organic acids, which are also produced by the company.

The ingredients supplier focuses on the development of such antimicrobials from sustainable resources for the cosmetics industry.

Search for natural alternatives Suppliers are seeking out and developing these ingredients as more and more consumers search for products that are genuinely green and natural.

However, there are still no natural or organic preservatives on the approved list of preservative compounds set down in the European Cosmetics Directive.

Furthermore, it remains unlikely that suppliers will attempt to get a natural alternative onto the EU's positive list because proving a compound's efficacy and safety could cost millions of euros and take several years, said Judi Beerling, Organic Monitor's technical consulting manager.

She said the jury is also still out on some of the leading natural candidates with questions remaining over their efficacy when compared to conventional preservatives.

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