The ingredient is produced through fermenting natural ethanol and natural citric acid, according to the company, and its Ecocert- and other natural standards- approval makes it attractive to formulators of natural products.
The main application of the ingredient is a deodorant compound, the company said, although it can also be used as a polar oil in polar ingredients.
According to Dr Straetman’s, Triethyl Citrate has a long history of use in deodorants due to its ability to inhibit esterase activity in bacteria.
Fernando Ibarra, head of sales and technical marketing at Dr Straetman’s explained to CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that when the microbiological population on our skin starts digesting excretion/sweat compounds, they liberate short chain fatty acids which are responsible for the unpleasant odour.
When present on the skin, Dermofeel TEC eco will compete with other target molecules of the esterases in bacteria, and if present in high enough concentration will be metabolized instead of the odour-liberating compounds in our skin, he said.
“When hydrolyzed by the esterase it will form ethanol and citric acid,” he added. “Citric acid will lower the pH at the esterase site and therefore inhibit its action, as enzymes are pH independent.”
Dermofeel TEC eco is mainly targeted for use as a deodorant compound in underarm deodorants, although other concepts where body odours are to be covered, such as foot creams, are also suitable.
Use in polar ingredients
Dr Straetman's also highlighted the ingredient's application as a polar oil.
Although oils are not usually miscible with water due to their low polarity, very polar oils such as Dermafeel TEC eco can to a certain extent be dissolved in water, explained Ibarra.
He said that the structure of the ingredient can allow it to dissolve other ingredients that are not easy to incorporate into cosmetics formulations.
“Dermofeel TEC eco can help to disperse pigments (e.g. TiO2 for sun care) in emulsions. It is also used in perfuming, because it helps to fix fragrance components and retain them longer in the formulation and on the skin,” he explained.