According to Givaudan Active Beauty's R&D Director Romain Reynaud, the breakthrough ingredient PrimalHyal™ 50 Life has “totally reinvented the production method for low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid.”
“By directly obtaining the molecular weight of interest during the fermentation stage, we have drastically reduced our global footprint, by over 90%. This is a ground-breaking achievement for the beauty industry as a whole," he said.
Massive simplification of the process
Cosmeticsdesign-Europe spoke to Givaudan Active Beauty’s head of category for actives, Mathias Fleury who said the work on the new HA fermentation process began in 2016, and accelerated in 2020 when Givaudan acquired Alderys: a French company that specialises in strain engineering and molecular biology.
“Indeed, thanks to our scientists' work in strain engineering and molecular biology, we've been able to completely reinvent our fermentation process for low molecular weight HA,” he shared. “Until today, the only way to reach low molecular weights was to first produce high molecular weight HA, then perform a hydrolysis.”
“This means longer processes, more steps, and a lower fermentation yield, as it is, in fact, limited by the high viscosity of high molecular weight HA,” he continued.
Fleury said that in just one step the new strain is able to “produce the molecular weight of interest by possessing the ability to synthesise high molecular weight HA, and directly decrease its molecular weight before releasing it in the fermentation broth.”
He said that this results in a massive simplification of the process “fewer steps, less energy consumption, less substrates and a great increase of the fermentation yield because of the lower viscosity.”
The company shared the results of a Life Cycle Analysis, which declared a -92% greenhouse gas emissions; -95% acidification and eutrophication of water; - 90% non-renewable energy usage; and - 75% water consumption*
Fleury explained that it offers a ‘win/win’ situation because the global footprint is drastically decreased compared to the conventional ‘industry standard’ process by “more than 90% reduction, as demonstrated by a full Life Cycle Analysis.”
He also highlighted that the cost structure improves, which means Givaudan has been able to offer this innovation at a more competitive price and will “ultimately benefit all the brands using hyaluronic acid, with a product which becomes more affordable, while significantly reducing their impact on the environment,” he explained.
More sustainable and more cost-effective
Fleury explained that the new ingredient has been fully evaluated in terms of toxicity and safety profile. “On the biological side, this ingredient will directly target key proteins involved in the barrier function (such as occludin or ZO-1, responsible for the tight junctions) ending up with benefits in terms of skin hydration and skin texture.”
According to Givaudan, its skin care benefits, include: Deep skin penetration, up to 120 µm; stimulation of tight junctions – preventing TEWL; boosted skin hydration for up to 72 hours post-application; reduction of skin roughness by -66% in one month; and perceivable benefits in terms of skin texture, firmness, and hydration, as noted by volunteers.
“This was demonstrated with various in vitro and ex vivo trials, but also at the clinical level on more than 40 volunteers,” he said.
He also revealed that other innovations connected to the topic of precision fermentation and the reinvention of iconic molecules are on the horizon. “We have many more things to come in this field in the coming months,” he shared.