The company will become the exclusive distributor of the ingredient, which is manufactured by pharmaceutical producer PCCA.
According to Univar, the ingredient, which will be introduced into the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia, provides effective preservation in a wide pH range against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as having antifungal properties.
“It can be used on its own for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties; however, at lower percentages an antifungal may be necessary,” explained Eric Scarborough, Univar’s technical development manager for personal care.
No effect on odor or color
Although the ingredient is all natural, Univar claims that NataPres provides effective preservation without some of the undesirable characteristics often associated with natural preservatives.
According to Scarborough, these are related to color and odor.
“Typically, there is an odor issue and a discoloration from yellowish to brownish, which changes the color of an application,” he told CosmeticsDesign.com USA.
“In the case of NataPres, it is both odorless and will not change the color of a formulation,” he added.
The company is hoping the new ingredient will answer the needs of natural formulators who are looking to replace more traditional, synthetic preservative ingredients.
“Univar is eager to introduce NataPres. We believe it will answer formulators’ pressing needs for an all-natural product that will offer effective preservation without altering the finished product’s color or odor,” said Univar’s personal care industry director Phyllis Shout.
Natural preserving systems
Finding natural ingredients to replace traditional preservatives is notoriously difficult and suppliers are increasingly looking to develop new ingredients.
Germany-based Dr Straetman’s is one of the company's to take up this challenge and has recently launched an anti-microbial product called Dermasoft PEA eco, which can be used as a preservative as well as a fragrance component, according to the company.
In addition, the company said Dermasoft PEA eco is pH-independent, unlike many other antimicrobial ingredients.