Cosmetics Design caught up with Jordan Petkov, head of global R&D for Lonza, at the recent SEPAWA Congress in Berlin.
The ingredients expert said that natural surfactants are having a revival due to rising consumer interest in natural alternatives, and he suggests that ingredients manufacturers now need to make the most of this renewed interest by positioning natural surfactants “in an authoritative way”.
Suppliers’ role: full transparency
The rising focus on product and supply chain transparency is a big driver in new or renewed interest in natural alternatives: consumers are more informed on areas like regulation and safety, suggests Petkov, and as such, it’s important that the whole supply chain works together to respond to this.
Lonza has invested in its range of polyglyceryl ester based surfactants, which it describes as “an attractive green alternative” to the current non-ionic surfactants offering, carrying out a wide-reaching study that investigated and measured all the properties of the ingredient under various conditions in order to fully understand the potential of the ingredient, and its functionality.
This kind of proactive research to fully understand naturals and their potential is an important task that increasingly falls to ingredients suppliers, Petkov suggests.
“Manufacturers [of finished products] like P&G, Unilever and L’Oréal look at reducing their R&D in producing final products, so they are more reliant on their suppliers when it comes to this kind of research,” he explains.
“Speed to market is of paramount importance,” he suggests, and as such, suppliers need to be able to offer the right ingredients with the right functionality in a rapid way.
“Suppliers need to be responsive to unexpected turns,” he confirms.
Moving forward, Lonza is looking into other families of natural surfactants which they want to work on and bring to the market in a similar way to how they have positioned their polyglyceryl ester based surfactants.