Citramed sets sights on first natural preservative

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fruit

Citramed is preparing to market antibacterial and antifungal
ingredients derived from citrus fruit in the coming weeks with a
view to developing the first natural preservative.

The Israel-based company has created an extraction method to harness the preservative power of citrus peel and solve the shelf life headaches facing natural and organic manufacturers.

Lack of natural alternatives The current lack of alternatives to traditional preservatives has persuaded many to opt for 'nature-identical' substances instead but some suppliers are working towards plant-based solutions.

Citramed is among them and while other companies have already identified the potential of citrus fruit, it claims to be the first to have found a viable extraction method.

Citramed CEO Eli Levy told CosmeticsDesign.com: "Citrus peel is already known for its potential as a preservative but we have succeeded in creating an extraction process that gets a potent amount of the right material from the fruit."

Using a water-based process, the company will launch antibacterial and antifungal ingredients for the global cosmetics industry over the coming weeks.

Natural preservative Looking further ahead, Levy said the company is also working to improve the system further in order to formulate a natural preservative.

So far, there are no natural compounds on the approved list of EU preservatives making Citramed a contender for an industry first.

Part of the reason why the list features only synthetic ingredients is the potentially high cost involved in proving the safety and efficacy of an ingredient.

Another important factor is that it remains uncertain whether they are effective enough, according to Organic Monitor's technical consulting manager, Judi Beerling.

However, Levy said Citramed is on course to fine tune its technology in time to launch a natural preservative late in 2009.

After that, the company intends to develop applications for the food and pharmaceutical industries but entrance into these industries is not financially viable at present, added Levy.

Citramed is currently looking for strategic partnerships to help it exploit fully the research discoveries it has made.

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