Natural preservative with additional antioxidant benefits

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Antioxidant

An Israeli biotech company is advocating the use of the shrub Inula
viscosa, which boasts anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and
anti-inflammatory action, as a natural alternative to synthetic
preservatives.

Avisco, has been working with the shrub since 2002, being the first and only company to cultivate the wild plant for its commercial possibilities. The research was prompted by the wealth of information regarding the plants uses in traditional medicine, qualities that CEO Uri Finkenstein claims have been proved through scientific tests. Avisco's product Aviorex (Avisco's Inula Viscosa Oleoresin Extract) is the standardised extract from the resin the plant uses to protect itself from attacks by fungi, insects and bacteria. The preserving qualities of the extract, the result of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, became clear early on in the research, and the company claims there could be multiple uses including wood and food preservation. However, Finkenstien told CosmeticsDesign-Europe that the company 'have identified skin care and cosmetics applications as a viable avenue'​ adding that a small US natural cosmetics company is currently using the product in its formulations. In addition an Israeli company that produces natural and herbal based cosmetics products is currently investigating the product, identifying possible formulations and concentrations for the preservative, with the aim of incorporating it into their whole range of products. However, the extract lays claim to many other positive benefits that would be of interest to the natural personal care products manufacturer. The product displays powerful antioxidant properties, increasingly used in anti-ageing formulations, as well as working as a micro-vascular stimulant, a result that surprised Finkenstein and his company. Micro-vascular stimulation describes an increase in blood flow, in this case in the skin, and some have suggested that this could help ageing skin as it would allow more nutrients, and essential amino and fatty acids to reach the skin. In addition, the extract underwent clinical trials in the US for its efficacy as an osteoarthritis and athlete's foot treatment; trials that according to Finkenstien brought back very positive results. During these trials, which investigated topical application of the product at concentrations up to a thirty times stronger than would need to be used for preservation, no adverse side effects were reported. Although Avisco champion the multiple benefits of Inula viscosa, it is its natural preservative properties that may hold the key to the product's success. Currently the vast majority of products that claim to be natural are forced to use weak forms of synthetic preservatives in their products, as very few real alternatives exist, thus they cannot be labelled as 100 per cent natural. If Aviorex lives up to its claims it could prove to be very popular with the growing number of manufacturers of natural products.

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