Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

All-natural personal care products: Chemical engineer patents enzymatic preparation to make natural ingredients in the lab

Date:
July 2, 2010
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
A chemical engineer has developed and patented a chemical structure to make all-natural personal care products and purer pharmaceuticals in the laboratory.

A Kansas State University chemical engineer has developed and patented a chemical structure to make all-natural personal care products and purer pharmaceuticals in the laboratory.

K-State's Peter Pfromm, in collaboration with visiting scientist Kerstin Wurges, has engineered a way to use enzymes to efficiently catalyze chemical reactions to create things like scents for perfumes or to avoid the introduction of inactive ingredients in drugs.

The process -- scientifically referred to as a lyophilizate of an enzyme and fumed silica -- is essentially an enzyme-covered nanoparticle of fumed silica.

Traditionally, to add the scent of rose to a perfume or lotion, the rose was grown and then its scent compound was extracted through careful processing. Over the years chemists have devised ways to produce these quite valuable scent compounds in the lab in mass quantities. By law, however, compounds resulting from a purely chemical process are not considered natural.

Pfromm's method uses enzymes to catalyze the reactions needed. Since enzymes come from natural organisms, the end product can be billed as natural. Also, no potentially harmful residues will be present in the end product, as may be the case with chemical catalysts.

"That enzyme will do the job of making that rose scent out of two chemicals," Pfromm said. "Since the enzyme is derived from an organism, you end up with a product that is just as trustworthy as if you had taken a whole plant and extracted that molecule from it."

In addition, the ability to make mass quantities in a reliable fashion isn't lost.

"You can make the product much faster, in much larger amounts and at lower cost -- and it's exactly the same molecule made by the plant," Pfromm said. "You also then can say on the packaging that the product is natural."

Enzymes also can be used to make a purer form of pharmaceuticals.

Pfromm said that the active molecules in many drugs often come with an inactive twin that can be expensive and difficult to chemically separate. However, enzymes are very effective at only producing the active version of the molecule.

"Most of the time the inactive twin molecule is harmless, but there is a trend toward making more pure pharmaceuticals," Pfromm said. "Enzymes are exceedingly good at taking reactants and making them into only one of the versions, not both. They are supremely selective in this way; chemical catalysts are not."

The nanoparticle support is critical to the success, Pfromm said. Enzymes naturally work best in water, but the processes used to produce such compounds generally take place in some organic solvent. Though enzymes work in these solvents, they can easily clump, making enzymes inside of the tight clumps that are essentially wasted.

Using an electrostatic process to coat the fumed silica nanoparticles with the enzyme exposes the maximum number of enzymes to the reaction mixture. This maximizes the amount of end product made and makes more efficient use of all of the enzymes.

Fumed silica also is very cheap and is widely used in consumer products, including food, so any minute residues that may be left in the final product would be considered safe for drugs, foods or skin care.

Pfromm already has fielded some interest from commercial entities.

Wurges, listed as a co-inventor on the patent, worked with Pfromm on devising the preparation and did much of the lab work while visiting K-State. She is presently pursing her doctorate at Forschungszentrum Julich, Germany.

The lyophilizate of an enzyme and fumed silica was officially patented April 20 by the U.S. Patent Office.

More information is available at http://www.k-state.edu/tech.transfer/technologies/04-11.html.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "All-natural personal care products: Chemical engineer patents enzymatic preparation to make natural ingredients in the lab." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622112552.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2010, July 2). All-natural personal care products: Chemical engineer patents enzymatic preparation to make natural ingredients in the lab. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622112552.htm
Kansas State University. "All-natural personal care products: Chemical engineer patents enzymatic preparation to make natural ingredients in the lab." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100622112552.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins