A 7 million euros European-funded project has been launched with the intention of replacing chemical cosmetic production techniques with eco-friendly alternatives. This is the OPTIBIOCAT project which wants to provide technical improvement to the natural cosmetics sector, required to satisfy consumer demand for natural and ecological products.
Building on a diverse consortium of 16 partners from eight European countries, OPTIBIOCAT, which began in 2013 and runs until 2017, will furnish companies with knowledge and expertise to introduce environment-friendly processes and use new natural ingredients. This will be achieved by using enzymes – cellular catalysts that control reactions which take place in cells and increase the speed compared to conventional chemicals. It is called biocatalyts, it is better because they can function in lower temperatures. Moreover, energy requirement and unwanted side effects are reduced (such as odor). In addition, enzymes are specific for the type of reaction they catalyse – there are no by-products or waste.
“The environmental footprint for the production of the identified antioxidants will be significantly reduced with our innovative biocatalysts,” says Vincenza Faraco from the University of Naples,