Microalgae oil is expected to deliver “higher hydration levels, a silky but not greasy skin feel, mildness on the skin, neutral color and odor, and improved shelf life,” according to a Solazyme media release about the deal.
Solazyme manufactures its microalgae oils at a facility in São Paulo State, a joint venture with the agribusiness company Bunge.
Production began there, this month last year, and relies on sugar from Bunge’s neighboring sugarcane mill, according to Biodiesel Magazine.
“We’re proud of the work we have done with our partner Solazyme in bringing the world's first built-for-purpose renewable oil plant on line,” Ben Pearcy, the managing director of sugar and bioenergy at Bunge, said at the time. “We remain committed to the success of the joint venture and see significant market opportunities that we can address together.”
The personal care industry is among those opportunity markets. Solazyme’s personal care ingredients comprise the AlgaPūr portfolio of microalgae oils that Natura will be working with as well as Alguronic Acid (a compound claimed to minimize the appearance of wrinkles) and the Algasome complex (sold as a source of concentrated vitamins and antioxidants).
Natra and Solazyme have been collaborating for two years to develop personal care product formulations with microalgae oil. And, in the past twelve months those products have successfully completed testing and validation, according to the Solazyme release.
“We are always looking for ingredients from renewable sources and technologies inspired [by] nature, targeting low environmental impact processes and high performance solutions,” says Daniel Gonzaga, director of advanced research with Natura. “Solazyme microalgae [oils]…are a sustainable alternative for new formulations,” he adds.
Drawn from life
The sort of biofabrication underway at the the Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils plant will be used to produce countless cosmetic ingredients in years to come. And, further technologies will open up even more options.
Algae itself can now be generated with 3D printing. Such developments impact what can be made with and from algae as well as what can be made nearby it: “The ability to 3D print oxygen-producing microalgae alongside human tissue could be the perfect method of supplying the human cells with the necessary oxygen and other secondary metabolites needed for survival and growth,” noted 3Dprint.com when research on the innovation was first published. In other words, printed human tissue will be more viable and mutable as technology advances.