Market opportunities for organic microbeads

With much media furore over government plans to ban microbeads by the end of 2017, directors managing cosmetics and domestic product lines will be scanning the field for organic alternatives.

At present, over 680 tonnes of microbeads are used in the UK alone. When considering any replacement particles in future products, a clear priority will be to ensure this material is biodegradable and does not present further environmental issues as a foreign contaminant or hazard to marine life.

A number of possible organic microbead options exist, including cereal grits, ground olive and apricot pits, and ground walnut kernels. However, with new possibilities come new problems. The processing challenge of these components is that all may be contaminated with Listeria, Salmonella and E-Coli. Treating these particles requires either heating within solutions, with potential damage to the natural ingredients in creams, or to be pore-pasteurised.

Decontaminating these natural ingredients without damaging their properties is possible with the Revtech system, the only technology in the world with FDA approval and Campden validation to greater than 6 logs. Using unique patented spiral vibratory technology, Revtech’s units decontaminate through the combination of dry radiant heat with a steam cycle to sterilise the product. It leaves the processed particles in a clean, cooled and secure form ready to be added to cosmetic and personal care items, replacing harmful plastic microbeads. Revtech’s unique design allows fast changes between batches and easy cleaning for allergens, including the option of Pyrolosis cleans.  The capacity of the machines ranges from 200kgs/hr to greater than 10 tons per hour.  It can also be used for treating barks and roots used in food supplements, such as Senna for digestive issues and complies with COSMOS soil association standards.

When the alternatives for processing are steam heating, raising water activity and risking mould growth, or irradiation, Revtech offers a secure and cost effective solution to decontamination. It’s easy to see why organic particles will benefit producers who can meet their processing challenges with technology that is proven to be efficient, safe and innovative. Establishing ‘greener’ versions of household brands represents potential successes for companies shown to be proactive, socially conscious and environmentally sustainable.

Published 24.10.2016

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