Since 2011, biotechnology company Modern Meadow has been working to biofabricate materials for cosmetic and personal care product formulations that are animal-free and sustainable alternatives to traditional synthetic options. The company’s Bio-Coll@gen, a vegan, biocompatible animal-free collagen alternative, is one of these materials.
Produced through Modern Meadow’s proprietary Bio-F@rm application platform, which, as detailed on the company’s website, “combines Modern Meadow’s proprietary know-how regarding strain engineering, protein design, analytics, fermentation, and downstream processing to produce tailored proteins with desired properties and functionality for various applications,” Bio-Coll@gen offers personal care product manufacturers the opportunity produce vegan alternatives to traditional product formulations that are more sustainable without sacrificing efficacy.
To learn more about Modern Meadow’s formulation process, its use of yeast fermentation in the ingredient production process, and the efficacy of Bio-Coll@gen in personal care product formulation, we spoke with Catherine Roggero-Lovisi, CEO of Modern Meadow, for her insights.
Formulation & development process background
Modern Meadow utilizes a sustainable process to formulation by “conducting research and development of materials and solutions that can move the world away from petrochemical and animal-derived products, while also reducing the need for water, energy and land use,” said Roggero-Lovisi. Regarding collagen materials, she added, the team is aware that “as our global demand grows, so does its environmental impact.”
The company works to maintain secure relationships with its development partners regarding traceability and adheres to a process called ‘Lab-to-Brand,’ which means its production “inputs are vetted through a rigorous process to ensure sustainable and fair practices and works as a certificate of authenticity to our partners to ensure the sustainability of the product,” she shared.
Efficacy as a human type III collagen
To engineer BioColl@gen, the Modern Meadows team utilizes a combination of molecular biology and fermentation practices using different yeast strains. Through its Bio-F@arm technology application platform, proteins like BioColl@gen are produced “through a yeast-fermentation process, which is a simple, traceable production process using sustainable feedstock with no odor and color,” she explained.
Specifically, the Bio-Coll@gen protein is fermented as a human type III collagen and is bio-active and environmentally sustainable. This collagen type is utilized because it “is what youthful bodies use to maintain healthy skin and promotes the skin’s natural ability to produce more Collagen III, providing powerful anti-aging factors,” stated Roggero-Lovisi.
Additionally, due to its proprietary Bio-F@rm production process, the resulting Bio-Coll@gen is certified as GMO-free, Halal, and vegan, as it is entirely free of animal and petrochemical inputs.
Regarding the protein’s efficacy in personal care product formulations, Roggero-Lovisi shared that “studies show that Bio-Coll@gen improves both the look and health of the skin, delivering a complete package of anti-aging benefits.” As skin ages, collagen decreases, causing signs of aging. As the sequence for Bio-Coll@gen is identical to human type III collagen, the most prevalent collagen type in youthful skin, the protein demonstrates “a bio-stimulation effect, being shown to increase collagen production.”
Recent partnership with Evonik
Last month, Modern Meadows announced it had partnered with specialty chemical company Evonik. As detailed in the company’s release regarding the announcement, the purpose of the partnership is to “combine Modern Meadow’s innovative Bio-Coll@gen fermentation-based technology with Evonik’s expertise and global reach in beauty and personal care ingredients to provide the availability of new formulations and enhance existing products.”
In the release, both Roggero-Lovisi and Ricardo Willemann, Vice President of the Active Ingredients Product Line within the Care Solutions Business Line at Evonik, expressed their excitement regarding the partnership, as Evonik’s extended global reach will support personal care manufacturers seeking to produce more sustainable products.
As the demand for alternatives for animal-derived collagen grows, the consumer need for effective product options formulated with options like Bio-Coll@gen will also likely increase, and the partnership between Modern Meadows and Evonik is poised to help facilitate that transition for manufacturers.