Apoena Biotech, a research and product development company in Diadema, Brazil, has made great strides in the cosmetic and personal care product sector recently with its Blue Amazon project expedition.
The company, which featured several ingredients at In-Cosmetics Global in Barcelona and NYSCC Suppliers’ Day in New York City this year, is making its name as a leader in environmental sustainability with its versatile product options, which include biosurfactant RAMNOCARE and postbiotic formulations APOBIO Skin and APOBIO Slim.
To learn more about the Blue Amazon project, the company’s ingredient innovations, and its plans for future project expansion with a broader range of product offerings, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Juliana Nakayama, R&D Manager, and Elza Marangoni, R&D Coordinator at Apoena Biotech.
About the Blue Amazon project
As detailed on the company’s website, the Blue Amazon project was “started in July 2022” when the company began “sustainable bioprospecting in Fernando de Noronha, archipelago representative of the Blue Amazon.” This project is essential to the company’s efforts to “explore biodiversity while causing the smallest possible environmental impact,” shared Marangoni.
One example of how Apoena has worked to expand biodiversity through bioprospecting is by taking “a small sample of a marine organism can contain countless microorganisms with the potential to solve global problems,” she said. “These small samples are identified and grown under laboratory conditions,” she explained further. “After collecting these samples, we can explore multiple microorganisms for several applications without the need for renewed intervention in the environment.”
Apoena has undertaken these bioprospecting efforts because “the most important way to demonstrate sustainability in practice is to show that biodiversity preservation can provide a wealth of new molecules with high value-added,” Marangoni stated. Without this work, the company could not expand its portfolio of ecologically rich cosmetic and personal beauty care ingredients or grow its understanding of biodiverse ingredient options for end-stage product formulation.
Ingredient development and launch
As showcased at In-Cosmetics Global and NYSCC Suppliers’ Day, Apoena’s research efforts have proven fruitful for the biotech company and have produced several ingredients for cosmetics and personal beauty care product manufacturers to use in product formulation processes. One such ingredient is RAMNOCARE, a “multifunctional, sustainably manufactured, biotechnological, biodegradable biosurfactant,” said Marangoni.
About the biosurfactant, Marangoni shared that RAMNOCARE has “skin compatibility, low toxicity, protection, and hydration effect” in product formulations. Further, she added, “it cleans the skin gently and non-aggressively, especially when compared to traditional surfactants.”
Research and development in biodiversity have also led to the formulation and release of APOBIO Skin, “a biotechnological Retinol-like product that promotes endogenous hyaluronic acid increase,” and APOBIO Slim, “a Postbiotic active ingredient that has anti-cellulite properties, and it also promotes hydration and strengthens the skin barrier,” said Nakayama. She added that both ingredients are “are postbiotics with multiple functions,” which qualifies them as versatile ingredient options for cosmetic and personal beauty care product formulation.
Regarding the versatility of Apoena’s currently available biodiverse ingredient options, “all of our active ingredients are water-soluble, making them easier to incorporate into a formulation, and are only incompatible with oil/lipophilic bases,” Nakayama explained. This means that “they do not break the product’s viscosity and must be added at the end of the process at a temperature below 40 ºC” for maximum efficacy.
The future of Apoena Biotech innovation
The vastness of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago ensures that there is still much to learn about and discover regarding new ingredients for product formulation. To this point, Nakayama shared, Apoena currently has “some products in development that will be launching soon.”
For example, she illustrated there is “a polysaccharide that forms a film on the skin and a protein that has the potential to straighten hair,” which will hopefully be launched in the coming months. As further discoveries are revealed, studied, researched, and processed, there will be much more on the horizon for manufacturers and developers of cosmetic and personal beauty care products by way of Apoena Biotech soon.