In recent years, traditional preservatives (i.e. formaldehyde releasers, parabens and Isothiazolinone) have been subjected to scrupulous reviews by regulatory agencies and consumer groups due to numerous publications characterizing them as carcinogens/skin sensitizers/endocrine disruptors. This has resulted in a ban of key preservatives or a significant reduction in the level of preservatives permitted in a formulation marketed in Europe which then filters to the rest of the globe. Today, more and more consumers desire products that do not contain preservatives. As a result, companies have sought to drive ‘preservation’ of the formulation in different ways other than the use of traditional preservatives.
Previous searches leveraged consultancy experts to identify technologies/ materials and products to provide alternative solutions to replace Isothiazolinone preservative in consumer products. Overall, the technologies identified from the search could not be used for one or more of the following as i) they were not registered for consumer products use, ii) they were too early stage (laboratory scale so not commercially available) and iii) a significant number of natural extracts that were not of interest to either hand dish liquid or liquid laundry detergent formulations. In hindsight P&G’s brief was ambiguous as it wasn’t clear whether we were looking for long or short-term solutions.
In 2018, the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council led a “collaborative innovation” effort across multiple firms in the preservation supply chain to jointly address this common technology challenge. P&G was part of this consortium. Several viable approaches were identified, but none were commercialized.
- Research summary: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352554120305696#bib6
- Needs brief: https://greenchemistryandcommerce.org/documents/GC3PreservatvesCriteria1.pdf
- Technology approaches: https://greenchemistryandcommerce.org/documents/Preservatives%20Challenge%202018%20Winners.pdf
What We Are Looking For
- Short and Long-Term Solutions that can be used in liquid hand dish and liquid detergent product matrices:
- Short term solution (12 months)- at a minimum on the EPA TCSA list and/or approved for use by BPR, is commercially available, can be scalable and has demonstrated function under real world conditions
- Long term solution (current- 3 years)- does not need to be registered (it is important to call out the registration is region dependant. A chemistry registered in one region may not be registered in another region).
- Have technical data to specify primary function suitable for hand dish or liquid laundry detergent other than microbial kill
- Identified technologies have supported efficacy against a broad spectrum of microbes
- Compatible with formulation parameters; pH (7.8/9), is not inactivated by surfactant type (anionic/nonionic), low odor profile, and does not greatly affect overall color, odor or viscosity profile and effective in water content that can make up 80-90% of a formulation.
- Is cost effective
- Has key understanding of what inactivates the chemical entity
- Is stable over shelf life of product (minimum 2 years) and chemistry doesn’t degrade
- Willing to explore options producing formulations with reduced water where water activity is less than <0.6 where growth of microbes is not supported.
- Manufacturing requirements– Technologies/Approaches that can be utilised in the manufacturing plant. The strategy of ‘making clean’ opens the opportunity of utilising materials/processes that can be used to protect manufacturing plant. For example, are there technologies that can be used specifically in the manufacturing plant but degrade in the product before its released. Interventions like pasteurisation could also be employed.
- Materials must also have acceptable operating ranges (i.e. pH, metal compatibility, temperature stability) while in production
- Not limited for use by P&G by existing licensing agreements.
- Packaging requirements
- Technology identified needs to be compatible with all forms of packaging used for liquid hand dish and detergent products (bottle/refills etc).
- Enable product robustness- pump dispensing with no risk of water re-entering, for example
What We Are Not Looking For
- Nothing in the chemistry / classes- Fluoro/Phosphorous based
- Chemistries that need registration in the short term
- Technology cannot already be patented by a competitor as it is essential P&G has freedom to practice
- Chemistries that cannot be scaled at industrial level (minimum 100 Tons/ year for hand dish and (4000 Tons/year liquid laundry)
Attached Is a List of Registered Preservatives (PT6) in Europe
These preservatives have been classified based on their ‘current’ regulatory risk.
- Not Approved for use
- Not Recommended for use
- Under Review (authorized today but under scrutiny by regulators and at risk for being not approved)
- Approved for use
*Any chemistry that comes under the first 3 classes, should be avoided.
Please note that only non-confidential information describing the design and IP can be accepted for review at this stage.