Lonza was highlighting its expertise in the preservatives arena at the recent NYSCC Suppliers' Day. We caught up with one of the company's experts to find out about the product offerings and some of the challenges faced in this crucial area.
"Lonza is a key player on the preservation market, and is particularly big in the consumer care market where we serve both the home care and the personal care markets on a global basis," said Phil Hindley, Lonza global marketing manager – Preservation.
“Beyond that, our personal care preservation portfolio is simplistically divided into two areas, traditional and non-traditional preservatives. On the traditional preservatives side we have well trusted, well adopted preservatives like IPBC and PHMB, while on the non-traditional side we have our next generation range of preservatives that includes the Geogard product line, which is compliant with a broad range of natural-based certifications.”
Geogard product range
The Geogard range has been developed as a broad spectrum protection portfolio of preservatives that has been endorsed by compliance with ECOCERT, COSMOS, NATRUE and Soil Association certification programs to underline its sustainable and natural credentials.
The portfolio for personal care includes the Geogard 111A and 111S, spectrum activity, while Geogard ECT is an antimicrobial blend and Geogard LSA is another broad spectrum antimicrobial solution comprising non-traditional ingredients.
“The preservation market is rapidly moving towards more natural-based solutions. We have seen the rise and fall of systems such as MIT in a relatively small space of time. But industry needs to recognize that this cannot pace continue and there needs to be a whole renewed approach of advocacy and defence for preservatives, irrespective of what team you play for.”
Hindley went on to explain about how important that advocacy is to retain the credibility of preservatives and, perhaps more importantly, how important it also is for the responsible promotion of preservatives.
"The Geogard range is broadly based on organic acids and organic alcohols, [and] offers broad spectrum protection and global compliance. This range of preservatives have been developed for a global market and not on a regional basis, so they meet the demands of all kinds of formulators."
Misinformation about preservatives ?
In recent years, the preservatives category has come under significant attack from lobby and consumer groups, who have marginalised and maligned certain types of preservatives, such as parabens and formaldehyde, on the back of potential health concerns.
But some of the information that has been put out there has been dubious and not based in science, creating significant problems for many preservatives, despite a significant body of safety data to prove otherwise.
"The preservation market is sadly rife with miscommunication. To avoid this, industry has to come together to ensure that preservatives are defended and promoted responsibly, sustainably and, as a de facto, promoted using science as a basis for all of that. If science is used as the benchmark, then there really shouldn’t be an issue," said Hindley.
"We at Lonza we are proud that we have been at the centre of the move to correct that miscommunication through various work we have carried out through various industry bodies such as the PCPC in the US.
"The regulators are facing a difficult position. Any regulation will have a significant impact on the preservation market, but regulation often comes off the back of negative PR."
Is the new generation of preservatives safer?
In response a new generation of preservatives has started to crop up throughout the industry, exemplified by the Lonza Geogard range. We asked Hindley if he believes that the new generation of preservatives are any safer?
"The response to that question depends on the criteria. If you take Annex V of the European Cosmetics Regulation, then the preservatives on the market, be they of the traditional or non-traditional type, have all met the required safety testing and review process. In the US, the same thing goes for the CIR review."
Adding to this point, Hindley says his observation is that the longer and broader the exposure a preservative has to a market then the scrutiny will naturally increase.