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HomePressPress releasesConsortium of companies develops an active packaging that extends cosmetics shelf life
04 March, 2015

Consortium of companies develops an active packaging that extends cosmetics shelf life

Acticospack Project seeks the incorporation of cosmetic preservatives in the package instead of the product.

Acticospack project, funded from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, development and demonstration, has developed an active packaging for cosmetics that extends the product’s shelf life. The new packaging incorporates natural antioxidant preservatives rather than the cosmetic product itself.

Thereby, it reduces the preservatives usually added to cosmetics for preservation, while the product is still in perfect condition until their consumption. It is due to the controlled release of preservatives from the active packaging. At the moment, these active packages have been developed to shampoo, sun lotion and face cream.

"We have developed three specific prototypes of active packaging based on the use of different materials like PET, PE and PP. The new active packaging has been specially designed and developed taking into account the specific properties of each type of packaging material and conservation requirements of each cosmetic”, said José Bermúdez, Acticospack Technical Manager and Project Manager of new materials and active packaging in ITENE.

Also, the results have been satisfactory. Luis Torró, Project Coordinator and Head of R&D at Laboratorios Acento (La Española Group), has indicated that with the Acticospack packaging "the product is properly preserved and they has actually achieved a reduction between 25% and 40% of preservatives used in cosmetics right now”.

Acticospak project has been developed by a consortium of companies and research centers: the Spanish company Laboratorios Acento and the Packaging, Transport & Logistics Research Center (ITENE); the german Fraunhofer Institute; and also italian firms like Induplast, Lameplast and GEPACK, in Portugal.

Cosmetic technological challenge

The reduction of preservatives in cosmetic products is a technological challenge in Europe. However, cosmetics with less preservatives don’t have the same antimicrobial effect than the traditional ones. It requires new formulations and it would only be possible through technological solutions such as those developed in this project. In return, the consumer wins in safety and product quality.

Luis Torró also explains the great challenge of this initiative: "It was difficult to produce safe cosmetic products, with a technology that was not too expensive and, at the same time, be able to incorporate those active substances to ensure cosmetic safety".

Europe is the world’s flagship producer and mass market of cosmetic products. It includes more than three thousand SMEs in this sector. Maintaining this position depends on the ability to continue innovating and to provide the market with better products and quality.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement nº 315720