Friday, 15 December, 2017

Berry seeds to be used in cosmetics: VTT

11 Aug 2017, 02:32 ( 4 Months ago) | updated: 12 Aug 2017, 01:05 ( 4 Months ago)

DF Report

The husks of berry seeds have properties worth using in cosmetics to prevent the growth of harmful microbes.

Finnish Technical Research Center (VTT) has developed a method of recovering active substances from seed husks, said a press release.

While manufacturing juice, the food industry produces large amounts of press cakes containing a range of useful compounds for the skin, such as polyphenols known for their antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Until now, the industry has largely confined itself to extracting seed oil from press cake. Despite the potential for new product concepts, no other high-value-added products are currently made from press cake.

"Cosmetics trends include the maintenance of healthy skin and replacement of preservatives with natural compounds. Berry seed husks contain large amounts of antimicrobial compounds which can help to maintain a natural microbial balance in the skin, by suppressing the growth of harmful microbes while beneficial ones flourish. This is based on nature's way of protecting seeds from threats such as fungi," said Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä, Principal Scientist at VTT.

VTT has developed a seed sanding method for enriching compounds which suppress the growth of harmful bacteria. For example, 20% of a cloudberry seed's weight can be sanded using this method.

Among Finnish berries, cloudberries and Arctic brambles produce the seed fraction extracts that are best at inhibiting harmful microbial growth.

These berries, which belong to the Rubus genus, contain high levels of polyphenols called ellagetannins, which are known for their anti-microbial effects.  

Extract from sea buckthorn seed fractions has also proven effective. Sea buckthorn seed husks are also rich in polyphenols known as procyanidins, a kind of tannin.

microbes. Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas bacteria are e

Each square centimetre of skin contains around one billion examples of microbes that are hazardous to the skin's health. On the other hand, lactic acid bacteria are useful. Bacteria belonging to the Propionibacterium genus can be either harmful or beneficial, depending on factors such as their numbers. Seed extract's effectiveness in preventing harmful microbial growth depends on the berry in question.

VTT's research has shown that, in addition to polyphenols, seed press cake contains other health-promoting compounds and thus could be used in food and cosmetics in a number of ways. Most of the thousands of kilogrammes of seed cake produced could be used for purposes other than feed.

VTT has been studying antimicrobial compounds in Finnish berries for almost 20 years.

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