The Slovenia-based company specialises in antioxidant rich rosemary extracts for use in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and food products. In addition to the antioxidant and anti-ageing properties, the extracts can be used as preserving compounds to protect products and extend their shelf-life, according to the company. Two of Vitiva's extracts, Inolens and Aquarox, have now been certified organic by French organisation Ecocert, allowing it to capitalise on the growing demand for organic products. "The organic products market is growing rapidly due to increasing consumer demands for food, cosmetics and nutraceutical products that are not only allergen- and GMO-free, but also 100 per cent natural and organic," said CEO Ohad Cohen. Oil soluble extract The first of the ingredients, Inolens, is an oil soluble rosemary extract that can be used to protect cosmetic oils from oxidation and rancidity therefore extending shelf life. "Inolens 4 has outperformed widely used tocopherols as well as synthetic ingredients, such as BHA and BHT while extending the shelf life of oils up to six times depending on the oil type," said Cohen when the product was released in January this year. Vitiva said it can easily blended with oils such as evening primrose, olive and virgin walnut, before being added to skin care products such as body lotions, sunscreens and massage oils. It can also be used in meat and meat products, ready to eat meals, bakery and confectionary products and other snack products to protect against taste change and extend shelf life. Water soluble alternative The second of the ingredients to have gained organic certification is Aquarox, a water soluble extract that can protect cosmetics from the oxidation that will lead to product breakdown and the development of unwanted odours and colours. Aquarox's antioxidant qualities will also enhance the anti-ageing qualities of a cosmetic formulation, the company said, and its high ORAC values (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) makes it a possible multifunctional additive for nutritional supplements. The market for organic and natural preserving systems is growing rapidly as the popularity of organic products increases. In the world of organic cosmetics consumers and manufacturers alike are frustrated by the lack of truly natural and organic alternatives to synthetic preservatives, especially when the safety of some of the most commonly used preservatives is being questioned by interest groups. Other companies working in the field include Germany-based Dr Straetmans with its natural fungicidal ingredient based on basil oil and Isreali company Avisco. Although Dr Sraetmans' managing director Jan Janichen maintains that many natural preserving systems can be as effective if not more so than there synthetic cousins he does highlight a few areas that present challenges for the formulators namely preservation at high pH values, illustrating that work still remains to be done in the area.