How enhanced extraction technology can green up cosmetics

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Metabolism, Cosmetics

Michael Koganov, AkzoNobel research director for bio materials
Michael Koganov, AkzoNobel research director for bio materials
AkzoNobel claims it has developed an industry leading technology for the eco-friendly extraction of naturally-derived cosmetics ingredients -  a technology that serves to make a significant impact on a product's carbon footprint.

Cosmetics Design spoke to the company research director for BioMaterials, Michael Koganov, Sc.D., Ph.D., to find out about the development of Zeta Fraction Technology and how the process is said to make a significant impact on the overall carbon footprint of the ingredient and the final formulation.

Making green or natural claims means marketers have to ensure that every aspect of a cosmetic product’s profile has to be squeaky clean, all the way down to the processing and extraction techniques.

Ensuring every aspect of the formulation is green

“The carbon footprint of a formulation is dependent on the contribution of all individual ingredients plus any additional resources required for the manufacturing of the formulation,”​ said Koganov.

He went on to explain how the conventional extraction of plant materials involves solvents, which, depending on the type of extraction, can involve mean a significant amount of energy consumption and solvent to produce a small amount of the extract.

“Zeta Fraction Technology should not be confused with any form of conventional extraction processes. At the site where plants or algae are actually grown, they are separated into fiber-enriched material and intracellular colloidal dispersion without any external solvents.”

Intracellular colloidal dispersion reduces energy use

The process then involves the intracellular colloidal dispersion of all the biologically-active complexes using the Zeta Fractions, which in turn minimizes energy use, while the fibrous by-product is reused for by-product.

“A mobile processing unit allows us to process plants or algae within one hour after harvesting, which minimizes the impact of catabolic processes on quality and safety of Zeta Fractions,”​ said Koganov.

The technology was first launched in 2001 by Integrated Biotechnology and was acquired by the company in 2011, where it has subsequently been integrated into the company’s Surface Chemistry division.

The technology was developed primarily to tackle the problems of unwanted catabolic reactions that deteriorated the active complexes and compounds and their properties, but in turn it has also served to raise the sustainability profile of the extraction process.

The technology can be used to all natural raw materials

“Zeta Fraction technology delivers sustainable ingredients and their incorporation into formulations improves the sustainable profile of finished products,”​ said Koganov. “This technology is applicable to all plants and algae, indicating that further extension of a sustainable platform is possible.”

The technology also has added flexibility because it can be utilized in combination with other existing extraction technologies in an effort to reduce the amount of solvents used, as well as energy and waste generation.

Michael Koganov will be giving a presentation about the sustainable processing of cosmetics at the forthcoming Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​, to be held in New York, May 16 – 18.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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