Grain extracts tested for use in cosmetics

1:44 pm on 16 February 2010

New Zealand scientists are targeting grains as a source of natural cosmetic products.

The first of these, using biopolymers derived from oats and amaranth, is now being assessed for its commercial use.

The researchers are part of the Biopolymer Network, a collaboration between AgResearch, Plant and Food and Scion.

A biopolymer is a naturally-derived alternative to synthetic polymers, which are long molecules that join other molecules together.

The lead scientist for the research programme, Becky Macdonald says they're using oats and amaranth because they know what types of proteins they contain, that it can be extracted.

The extracts have been formulated into hand creams which have been tested on volunteers. Ms Macdonald says they have performed better than creams without the extracts.

Ms Macdonald says the next extract likely to be commercially tested is a foaming agent suitable for hair shampoo.

After this may come a microparticle that can be used in dry cosmetics, such as face powder.

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