Formulating a product that effectively preserves without causing irritation is a balancing act. “You can’t just choose a preservative off the shelf,” Mack says. “You need to make sure preservatives work under actual conditions.” Failure to effectively prevent product contamination can be catastrophic. “Preservatives are low-cost additives that make up 1% or less of a formula. But if they fail, they can ruin a billion-dollar brand,” Mack says. Despite the challenges, preservative suppliers are increasingly offering plant-derived alternatives to synthetics. “Traditional preservatives are under attack today, and so you see more focus on nontraditional preservatives,” explains Linda B. Sedlewicz, U.S. country manager for Schülke & Mayr, a 120-year-old German maker of preservative systems. She cautions that “the nontraditional preservatives need to have effects similar to traditional types.” Both types of preservatives can fail, Sedlewicz warns. Synthetics are known to be effective, but “use too little and a product might not be properly preserved,” she says.
by Marc S. Reisch |
June 09, 2014