Consumers of beauty products understand the need for sustainability — increasingly, they demand it. At Personal Care, we apply our science to meet the UN Sustainable Development goals by optimizing our processes and to do more, and better, with less.
One example is GENENCARE OSMS BA®, a natural betaine used in skin and hair care products, which we produce from an upcycled byproduct of sugar beet processing.
Upcycling is the process of transforming by-products, unwanted or waste materials into new products of a higher quality or value than the original. The process of upcycling can be applied to many products and applications.
The GENENCARE® OSMS bioactives range is obtained from the by-product of sugar beet processing known as sugar beet molasses. Traditional sugar beet processing yields a by-product with little use other than animal feed. Our natural betaine production process increases the sugar yield from beets, while also producing a betaine-rich molasses as a side stream. By upcycling the leftover molasses, we help extract maximum value from the planet’s limited resources.
Diagram 1: GENENCARE® OSMS upcycled from the sugar production side stream.
Betaine plays a key role in skin moisturization through ‘osmoprotection’. Our skin uses osmosis to draw moisture from the deep reservoir of the dermis up to the cells of the epidermis. Osmolytes, like betaine, manage this balance to protect against dryness.
Natural has become a beauty buzzword. More and more consumers are saying they wouldn’t put anything on their body that wasn’t safe enough to eat. We have developed a proprietary process to extract betaine from sugar beets — naturally sourced and ethically produced.
Launched in 2021, the UFA’s Upcycled Certified™ Program is the world’s first third-party certification program for upcycled food ingredients and products. Three ingredients in the GENENCARE® OSMS personal care bioactives range have achieved certification through the UFA’s Upcycled Certified™ Program. The certified ingredients in GENENCARE® OSMS range include GENENCARE® OSMS BA, GENENCARE® OSMS MI and GENENCARE® OSMS CC.
While we’re pleased with the results of our life cycle assessment, we’re not stopping here. By optimizing the evaporation process, we achieved a 30% energy savings, and optimizing crystallization saved another 5%. Using more biomass in the fuel mix has the potential to make further progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 on responsible consumption and production.