Canadian government backs spinach-based cosmetics

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics

PureCell Technologies says it has secured a CAD2.9m in Canadian government funding to help develop an organic extract compound for cosmetics from baby spinach.

PowerCell says it will use funding to help build a 3,000 square metre production extraction and cosmeceutical manufacturing facility in Montmagny, about 80km east of Quebec City.

The project will rely on supplies of organic baby spinach mainly from Canada.

The facility will extract, purifty, stablilize and condition the compound ready for use as an active ingredient in a range of skin care products. The compound itself is said to generate the photosynthesis process in baby spinach.

In clinical trials this extract of baby spinach has been proven to have distinct anti-ageing qualities at the cellular level, which should make it highly effective in targeted anti-ageing creams and sunscreens.

Specifically the compound has shown the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are prerequisites for targeted and functional skin care lines on the markets.

Indeed, the company says that initially it is planning to manufacture two anti-ageing creams and a sunscreen at the facility, which will be aimed at the premium end of the market and likely to be categorized as cosmeceuticals.

The company is expecting to tap into significant growth in the market for natural-based products with highly active ingredients. In turn it estimates that the business will generate revenues of CAD1m in the first year of production, 2009, rising to CAD22m by 2012.

The ever-growing trend for organic and natural cosmetic products has led to a huge increase in the number and variety of fruit and vegetable extracts that are used in personal care products these days.

Developments such as these are blurring the boundaries between food and cosmetics, a phenomenon that started a few years ago with the launch of a number of edible cosmetics. Many of these early launches were attempts to cash in on consumer demand for non-synthetic beauty ingredients, according to an article published in 2006 by Euromonitor.

This blurring of boundaries has continued with the recent popularity of beauty foods​ and nutraceuticals - foods and supplements that are thought to have particular cosmetic benefits.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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