A look at the latest happenings in biotechnology

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

A look at the latest happenings in biotechnology

Related tags: Cosmetics

Biotechnology could prove to be the answer to a lot of cosmetics and personal care formulators’ prayers, as the technology promises to raise the bar on efficacy, while lowering costs.

Big ingredients suppliers are turning to the expertise of smaller dedicated biotechnology companies in an effort to help meet consumer demands, resulting in numerous working partnerships and acquisitions.

In this article we take a look at the latest developments in this area as a means of demonstrating how this area is evolving and the increasingly important part it is playing in shaping the products of tomorrow.

Providing natural-based ingredients

Perhaps one of the biggest areas where companies are really feeling the benefits of technology is the sourcing of natural ingredients replicated using biotechnology processes.

Cosmetics Design senior correspondent Deanna Utroske wrote about this topic in a recent article​, where she points out the advances in this area of the technology and what it means to our industry.

The article highlights how replicating natural ingredients is a time honoured practice, but stresses that biotechnology companies are enabling this practice to be carried out in highly efficient ways and to industrial scale.

And naturally, one of the biggest benefits to replicating natural-based ingredients is the efficient production processes, which can lower the carbon footprint significantly compared to harvesting ingredients using traditional methods.

Biotech science, always ahead of the game

Making biotechnology processes as efficient as possible has always played a key role in the development of the technology, and this has been underlined by the development of a new technology at the Harvard Medical School.

Cosmetics Design profiled the technology recently in an article​ that explained how scientists had developed a photosynthesis system that can convert solar energy to biomass even more effectively than the fastest growing plants.

This system has the ability to process any downstream carbon-based molecule, which means it has a wide range of applications beyond that of just cosmetic and personal care.

Investment, investment, investment!

With the advantages of biotechnology more than apparent, the race is on to incorporate it into as many manufacturing processes as possible, but cosmetics and personal care has been flagged as one of the mainstays for the industry’s future.

As a result of the increased interest and demand, biotechnology are evolving and growing at an unprecedented level, while new players are also mushrooming.

Not so long ago, most biotechnology businesses were small labs, mainly devoted to research and development, but now huge industrial scale production facilities are popping up all over the place, typified by the recent opening of major player Gingko’s biotech facility in the US​.

The scale and level of investment in this facility is virtually unprecedented and reflects how the sector has evolved into larger scale industrial operations to cope with demand.

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