TRI-K portfolio of natural peptides is growing

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sacha Inchi image courtesy of Tri-K
Sacha Inchi image courtesy of Tri-K

Related tags: Protein, Skin

The specialty ingredients manufacturer launched the first ingredient in its NaturePep collection in late 2016 and a second just this spring. At the NYSCC Suppliers Day event in New York City this month, Cosmetics Design sat down with Elzbieta Kasprzyk, director of innovation and R&D at TRI-K, to learn more. 

The newest addition to the TRI-K collection of natural peptides is NaturePep Sacha Inchi, an ingredient shown to reduce facial sagginess, increase dermal density, and help reduce wrinkles.

The Sacha Inchi fruit is native to Peru, where the company sources it. The star-shaped fruit and its seeds have, since the time of the Inca Empire, been associated with a long life span. Sacha Inchi seeds are sometimes even called Incan peanuts.

Sacha Inchi is a super fruit that’s regaining recognition today. Which, when considered alongside the benefits TRI-K has documented, makes it a prime candidate for development as a personal care ingredient.  

As Elzbieta Kasprzyk, director of innovation and R&D at TRI-K, notes, “consumers have to make a connection between what they eat and what they put on their body.”

The NaturePep approach

TRI-K’s portfolio of NaturePep ingredients is all about providing personal care manufactures and brands with alternatives to synthetic peptides, Kasprzyk tells Cosmetics Design. And, everything in the portfolio is natural-based.

The company develops its NaturePep ingredients using what Kasprzyk describes as a “downstream approach.” ​That is, starting with a large protein extracted from a plant source, TRI-K uses a proprietary process to produce an ingredient containing small peptides. This process is in contract to peptide development techniques that build-up rather than refine molecules to create a resulting ingredient.

The new peptide

Through gene-expression testing Tri-K has shown that NaturePep Sacha Inchi upregulates 2 critical genes, Kasprzyk tells Cosmetics Design: CTGF (the connective tissue gene factor) and FOXO3 (which protects against accelerated aging caused by external factors).

Thanks to upregulation of CTGF, collagen and elastin are organized into the correct fashion, explains Kasprzyk, who goes on to note that without this organizing function wrinkles form and the entire skin matrix begins to dissolve. The upregulation of FOXO3 improves the “protein homeostasis network…and activates upregulation of antioxidant genes,” ​she says.

In testing, subjects using NaturePep Sacha Inchi had on average a 16% reduction in facial skin sagginess and a 23% reduction in dermal tissue gaps. Additionally, anti-wrinkle effects were noted. Skin roughness was reduced over 20% as was depth and volume of wrinkles.

The next peptide

Besides NaturePep Sacha Inchi, the TRI-K portfolio of natural peptides includes NaturePep Pea intended for use as a complexion correcting skin care ingredient that can be incorporated in anti-aging products, sun care, primers, so-called alphabet creams, and more. In testing, the company has found that NaturePep Pea reduces hyperpigmentation and evens skin texture.

But this isn’t the full extent of the NaturePep portfolio. As Kasprzyk tells Cosmetics Design there are more NaturePep ingredients in the pipeline at TRI-K.

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