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Vantage Group reopens jojoba processing facility in Tucson, Arizona

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ingredient suppliers, Natural ingredients, jojoba, processing, Manufacturing

Late last month the specialty chemical and ingredient supply company welcomed press, local officials, and Vantage team members to an opening event for the newly rebuilt jojoba oil processing facility.

Cosmetics Design was there to tour the new jojoba facility and to speak with Serge Rogasik, senior executive VP of personal care at Vantage about this unique ingredient and the production process.

Rebuilding a business

In late November 2017 fire destroyed the Vantage processing facility in Tucson, Arizona.

Noel Beavis, chief operating officer, spoke about the company’s rebuilding process in his remarks at last month’s facility opening. “As you all know, over 2 years ago there was a terrible incident at this facility right here. We had a fire and several employees were seriously hurt. I am pleased to say that those employees are all back at work; but the healing process continues…”

Beavis explained that “previously this facility housed both the crushing and refining operation but also what we call a spray operation where we spray a form of jojoba and make exfoliants….In the end, we decided to rebuild simply the crushing operation.”

“The spraying facility,” ​he said, was “actually reinstalled in a place in [Englewood] Ohio where they have similar technology.”

Processing a plant ester

Historically the industry supply of jojoba oil has been limited. The plant which grows wild in the Arizona desert isn’t cultivated at the same scale as other oil-producing plants.

Vantage owns two jojoba farms, one in each hemisphere, to ensure year-round availability of the oil. The company’s original farm is located just outside of Tucson, Arizona. And in 2015, Vantage acquired a majority stake in Agrinsa, the world’s largest jojoba farm, in Argentina. At the plant in Tucson, led by technical director Amber Schwartz, “we just do one of the most important steps [in the jojoba oil production process] which is the crush,” ​Rogasik tells Cosmetics Design.

“Most oils that you can find in nature are triglycerides,” ​says Rogasik, explaining one of the particularities of so-called jojoba oil, “in this case we are in the presence of an ester.” ​And as such jojoba oil is more similar to human sebum than other plant oils are.

Supplying the beauty industry

As Rogasik mentions in our video interview, jojoba oil has applications in a wide array of personal care and cosmetic products, from a simple skin and hair oil to hair care, hair treatment, skin care, and makeup, especially lip color products.

Because the global supply of jojoba oil is comparatively low (4 – 5 thousand tons per year, according to Rogasik) and demand is quite high, Vantage doesn’t offer the ingredient in very small quantities.  “Our minimum order in volume is one pail which is about 36lbs,” ​a spokesperson tells Cosmetics Design.

“Vantage has a long-established position in B2B, all the way from multinational companies to small startups so the need for lower minimum order volumes than we have is not in demand,” ​explains the spokesperson.

Watch the full Cosmetics Design video interview at the top of the page to learn more about the Vantage business and the new jojoba processing facility.

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DeannaUtroske_Editor_CosmeticsDesign

Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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