Liquorice derived ingredients in the spotlight

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Liquorice derived ingredients in the spotlight
We take a look at enoxolone, a liquorice-derived ingredient used in cosmetic products that has just passed REACH registration.

The ingredient, which due to being derived from a plant can boast naturals credentials and is used for its soothing activity, has just been successfully registered by BGG in accordance with the REACH regulation (EC) No 1907/2006.

The liquorice derivatives market has been characterized for many years by very few suppliers controlling the entire production chain, with many other companies trading or simply claiming to produce these ingredients​,” says BGG, suggesting that the new registration should open up the market.

What is enoxolone, and what are its applications?

We caught up with Christian Artaria, CEO of BGG, on what the ingredient’s registration means for the beauty industry.

Enoxolone can be found in many products for skin disorders or where you need a soothing activity, he explains.

BGG says it sells its liquorice derivatives mainly in these sectors:

  • cosmetics,
  • food (where Mono ammonium glycyrrhizate can be used in dairy products and analogues, edible ices, confectionery, chewing gum, drinks, meat…),
  • pharmaceutical (e.g. Mono ammonium glycyrrhizate is an important pharmaceutical excipients to mask bitter taste API’s for example)
  • flavoring (again Mono ammonium glycyrrhizate is used there to mask the bitter taste of other ingredients for example also of Rebaudioside A).

Opening up the control of liquorice ingredients

Artaria says the closed liquorice market has been a challenge, and the REACH registration of enoxolone will help to open it up.

“The liquorice market is a closed market with very few producers and many more companies trading these ingredients or making simply purifications of some intermediates,” ​he says.

“The REACH regulation is somehow making this a more transparent market at least for the biggest consumers/users. There are different reasons why historically this happened​.”

Keeping it open

“From one side this market, especially the cosmetic one, is characterized by many small consumers that might not be really interested of knowing if their current supplier is controlling the entire production chain (or not) and on the other hand the access to the roots is protected,”​ says Artaria.

“Liquorice roots are harvested from the wild and depending on the harvesting areas (China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, etc…) only few companies with the proper authorizations can dig the roots (mainly to avoid a not proper use of this precious natural resource) and process them, what indirectly forced companies to claim to “produce”, non to lose their face in front of their customers.”

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