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Unilever seeks external suppliers with libraries of functional natural and botanical derived compounds / extracts / products available for testing.


An opportunity has been identified across BPC categories where consumers have an increasing preference for naturally derived formulations including those from botanical sources. It is desired to deliver functionality (antimicrobial, prebiotic, anti inflammatory etc) using natural or botanical derived products / extracts / actives. Currently there are limited libraries of functional natural compounds  with the desired activity available at a cost-effective price and at relevant levels of production.

The goal of this project is to identify 3rd party suppliers who can provide materials for internal screening against relevant target endpoints. Materials with multiple functional properties are highly desired.  Available materials will undergo appropriate screening at Unilever facilities against multiple end points and selected leads will be further investigated for safety and formulation compatibility in advance of potential progression to relevant clinical studies.

Materials may be used across personal care / cosmetics areas including skin care, scalp care, face care and oral care (some additional specific requirements for oral care actives).

Description & Key Features

  • Natural materials or nature identical (primarily but not limited to botanical derived actives)
  • Known activity for endpoints not limited to antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, anti oxidant, anti-biofilm
  • Preference for non colored materials however not essential.
  • Materials available in large volume for potential market launch cosmetic grade and food grade materials desired – compliance with regulatory and safety requirements for Oral Care desired
  • Materials available in high concentration (i.e. 10% upwards) to facilitate tests at >5% inclusion level
  • A sample of the solvent and preservative system to use as a control in assessment
  • Non GMO
  • Preferred non-cariogenic (oral care specific requirement)
  • Formulation compatibility
  • Environmental toxicity package
  • Compositional analysis of extracts including identification of active material
  • Safety Package


What We Aren’t Interested In

  • Known toxic materials, sensitizers, high heavy metals, carcinogen or other special handling or consumer safety requirement
  • Known drugs or medicines
  • Known regulatory prohibited materials
  • Materials with significant colour or odour or taste
  • Materials that will require cold shipping and selling when in a finished product
  • Materials with likely or known allergenicity risk
  • Technology knowingly owned by or licensed to 3rd party competitors of Unilever
  • Material / Formulation testing on animals post 2010
  • Drug registered materials
  • Materials with a solvent/carrier/diluent or preservation system that cannot be used in oral care (Oral Care specific requirement)


Desired Outcome

  • Supply of materials in relevant quantities and format for testing at Unilever.
  • Following in vitro testing proceed to clinical studies where appropriate.
  • Exclusive supply agreement for materials between 3rd party supplier and Unilever.


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