Earlier this month, International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. announced the launch of AURIST AGC. As detailed in its press release, AURIST AGC is “a novel, biodegradable, cationic biopolymer for improved hair conditioning, in hair care products, and is the first personal care ingredient enabled by IFF’s proprietary Designed Enzymatic Biopolymers (DEB) technology, which uses advanced biotechnology to create a new-to-the-world class of biobased polysaccharides with unique structures and product features.”
Further, the new biopolymer will allow cosmetics and personal beauty care manufacturers the opportunity to better meet increased regulatory and consumer demand to incorporate more sustainable materials into product formulations while enhancing the performance of product types in this category.
AURIST AGC is a part of a collection of “natural and nature-inspired ingredients that are designed to deliver both established and novel sensory profiles along with benefits across a wide variety of applications such as leave-on, rinse-off, skin care, and hair care,” shared the IFF press release.
To learn more about the development process for AURIST AGC, the proprietary DEB technology that produces this biopolymer for personal beauty care product manufacturing, and the potential impact and environmentally sustainable benefits AURIST AGC offers the cosmetics and personal beauty care industries, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Piera Pericu, Business Segment Leader in Personal Care at IFF for her insights and expertise.
CDU: What is the potential impact of the AURIST AGC biopolymer on the cosmetics and personal beauty care industries?
PP: With today’s discerning consumers making more socially and environmentally conscious purchasing decisions, the beauty and personal care industry is evolving to offer a greater variety of environmentally responsible products. Unfortunately, historically, eco-friendly has meant accepting compromises.
At IFF, we believe there should never have to be a trade-off between sustainability and performance. Combining the high performance, purity, and consistency of synthetic conditioning polymers used today with the sustainability profile of natural polymers, AURIST AGC is a novel, readily biodegradable, cationic conditioning biopolymer that can improve the conditioning qualities of hair care products. But most importantly, AURIST AGC is a proof-point that sustainable science can deliver performance similar or even superior to traditional synthetic solutions.
CDU: How is the AURIST AGC biopolymer environmentally sustainable?
PP: Like other ingredients in the AURIST line, AURIST AGC is inspired by nature and distinguished by sustainability credentials to empower consumers to do better while looking great. Designed to be readily biodegradable, AURIST AGC is a hair conditioning biopolymer based on responsibly sourced, natural sugars.
Furthermore, it is manufactured via an innovative, energy-efficient process – enabled by IFF’s cutting-edge biotechnology capabilities – that operates at ambient temperature and pressure without the use of harsh chemical solvents.
CDU: What is Designed Enzymatic Biopolymers (DEB) technology and why should this innovation excite cosmetics and personal beauty care product manufacturers and suppliers to these industries?
PP: For the past decade, IFF has been working on a biocatalysis process to enable the development of tailored polysaccharides. The resulting innovation – Designed Enzymatic Biopolymers – gives rise to a new-to-the-world class of alpha-glucan polysaccharides from the enzymatic polymerization of glucose from sucrose with controlled morphology and structure.
DEB uses sugar to create polysaccharides through an enzymatic biotransformation process under mild process conditions. With DEB, it is possible to create high-performance biopolymers by controlling linkage and branching, and the biopolymers can be further functionalized just like other polymers.
In essence, the Designed Enzymatic Biopolymers technology brings three important benefits for the beauty and personal care industry: DEB polymers are highly customizable, have excellent structural uniformity, and can be designed to be biodegradable.
CDU: How was the AURIST AGC biopolymer formulated using DEB technology?
PP: AURIST AGC is designed using DEB technology which allows controlling linkage design and structure, and this molecule was selected as being particularly well-suited for hair conditioning while remaining readily biodegradable. AURIST AGC is also manufactured through the DEB process, an innovative, energy-efficient process that operates at ambient temperature and pressure. This not only reduces overall energy use, but also yields bio-based biopolymers that can be designed to be biodegradable.
Moreover, the DEB process and AURIST AGC are designed to be produced at scale. To drive a sustainable transformation in this industry, not only do we need to create sustainable materials with performance equal or superior to synthetic materials, but we also need to be able to deliver them to brands at a scale that will make a meaningful impact. DEB achieves that.
AURIST AGC demonstrates the potential of the new DEB platform to harness IFF’s extensive biotechnology capabilities and deliver sustainable and high-performance beauty solutions that can truly make a difference in this industry as it moves toward a sustainable future.
CDU: Are products formulated with AURIST AGC biopolymers more cost-effective for consumers, or more effective overall?
PP: Beyond cleansing, today’s consumers expect additional hair care benefits such as conditioning and improved combability. At the same time, there is increased regulatory and consumer pressure to replace many synthetic polymers with sustainable alternatives.
With AURIST AGC, consumers no longer need to settle for a trade-off between sustainability and performance; they can enjoy the best of both worlds. AURIST AGC enables natural hair care formulations (such as sulfate-free shampoos and water-based leave-on hair serums) that also deliver superior performance attributes in smoothing, softening, detangling, conditioning and improved combability.
CDU: What are some of the main benefits of AURIST AGC biopolymers in product formulations?
PP: Many companies find it challenging to meet both consumer and customer expectations of performance and sustainability. IFF’s proprietary Designed Enzymatic Biopolymers technology is enabling us to pioneer and bring sustainable, high-performing products like the readily biodegradable hair conditioning biopolymer AURIST AGC to the market today.
Not only does AURIST AGC bring improved combability, but it is also easy to formulate with. It is cold processable, with no pre-mix required, and can form completely transparent formulations with no need for pH neutralization.
CDU: Were there any challenges that needed to be overcome to successfully develop AURIST AGC biopolymers through DEB technology?
PP: AURIST AGC is the first personal care ingredient enabled by this technology, which has been over a decade in the making. We have overcome many scientific and technical challenges to get to this point, and it is a huge credit to the ingenuity and persistence of our scientists that we are able to present this product to the personal care industry today.