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The sensorial and formulation benefits of innovative sugar-based surfactants

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Founded on consumers searching for greener formulations, Clariant developed a sugar-based surfactant, GlucoTain. Envision a natural product range, which offers sensorial benefits based on individual foam structures – from fluffy to rich and light to caring skin-feel levels. GlucoTain opens new possibilities to personal care companies in order to develop sulfate-free, CAPB-free and betaine-free formulations for numerous applications.

Despite improving the final formulation performance, GlucoTain enables a cost enhancement with no compromise on cleansing properties, allowing hair care and skin care formulations such as shampoo, shower liquid sops, facial cleansers and shaving foams be more cost-effective.

Made from European sourced wheat-based glucose, European sourced sunflower oil, and/or coconut oil or palm oil that has been certified under the RSPO Mass Balance standard, the glucamides are readily biodegradable and represent no hazard to aquatic life. They are COSMOS certified and also meet the requirements of the EU Ecolabel as well as the even stricter criteria of the Nordic Ecolabel. Currently, there are five sugar surfactants within the family all characterized by their sustainability, mildness and skin compatibility. GlucoTain’s EO-free and sulfate-free ingredients are readily biodegradable products with a 94-96 % RCI (renewable carbon index), a high content of non-tropical biomass and a good ecotox profile.


The GlucoTain mildness, sensory, thickening and foam compares favorably to market alternatives. GlucoTain offers extra mildness in comparison to SLES and CAPB and is as mild as APGs. Additionally, GlucoTain Clear and GlucoTain Plus are suitable for use as foam boosting additives for practically any formulation and even sometimes as a primary surfactant. Furthermore, the range, particularly GlucoTain Flex, are efficient thickeners, enabling cost savings and contributing to a creamier sensation and a moisturizing nourishment for skin or hair.


Development of the plant-based glucamide surfactants goes beyond the introduction of a new sugar-based alternative to formulators. The combination of efficacy and broad applicability creates opportunities for formulators to answer the provenance trend and potentially reinvigorate saturated markets through effective natural formulations.

GlucoTain Sense is Clariant’s new member of the GlucoTain range, based on 100% European-sourced sunflower oil and glucose. GlucoTain Sense is easy to adopt in rinse-off formulations by switching 1:1 with 1 % of CAPB, resulting in improved skin-feel, tuning of foam, no changes in active level and no change in viscosity at normal salt levels.

The GlucoTain range is the new GREEN front-runner innovative sugar-based surfactants allowing an excellent cleaning effect to be combined with equally good nourishing properties – and this in five different variants that cover a range of customer needs. The products’ efficiency makes them especially attractive to producers, and their production from renewable raw materials fits with Clariant’s sustainability strategy.

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