Waste food could be the next thing in sustainable cosmetic ingredients

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Waste food could be the next thing in sustainable cosmetic ingredients

Related tags: European union, Cosmetics

Growing pressure to be more sustainable, combined with advances in extraction technology is leading to a new generation of cosmetic and personal care ingredients that are derived from food waste and side streams.

Also having applications for other food and nutraceutical formulations, the trend could prove to be a valuable way of re-using some of the enormous amount of food waste that is generated in developed countries every day, according to new research highlighted by Organic Monitor.

The market research company highlights statistics from the FAO (United Nations), which suggests that about a third of food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted.

Awareness of food waste leads to solutions

Awareness of this unnecessary waste is growing and the race is on to find solutions that can tackle the problem as well as putting unavoidable future waste a range of uses that technology is helping to stretch beyond just animal feed and biogas.

To this end, Organic Monitor points out that novel ingredients derived from food waste are starting to emerge, with Swiss company FoodSolutionsTeam and Netherlands-based Phytonext providing good examples of how advances in green chemistry are helping it to develop a range of actives derived from various sources of food waste.

Indeed, the solutions offered by these companies are derived from organic linseed, peas, rice, citrus peel and tomato that is either sourced from waste or side streams.

The EU is funding food waste solutions

Even the EU is getting involved, by funding the BIORICE project, which involves extracting starch from rice waste to make ingredients for a range of products, including cosmetics.

And the success of this project has now led to a Spanish cosmetics company using the ingredient as a foundation for a newlly launched cream product.

But this is not the first time that such ingredients have been used in the personal arena, with Organic Monitor pointing to examples such as Marks & Spencer using grape waste in its Super Grape Skin products.

Likewise, globally rennowned French cosmetics company Caudelie has built an entire range of products from side stream grapevine and grapeseed derived ingredients such as reservatrol and polyphenols.

Organic Monitor says that food waste and side stream ingredients are a growing theme at its Sustainable Cosmetics Summits​, and reflect a more established trend in packaging that is recycled from waste products.  

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