From art to science: how regulations are driving innovation in formulation


CPI, Redcar and Cleveland, United Kingdom


As formulated products come under increasing scrutiny from the regulatory community to be sustainable and safe, those companies involved in the industry are under pressure to improve the sourcing and credentials of their raw materials. In order to thrive in this new landscape, formulators need to move from art to science, gaining a better understanding about the complex microstructures of their product. It is also crucial that new technologies, such as high throughput robot systems and Process Analytical Testing (PAT) tools, are implemented so that formulation can become a more exact science. In this way, regulations have often driven innovation back into the industry, creating the need for new formulations and solutions for the future.

Formulated products are everywhere and we have truly built our lives around them. They wash our clothes, they decorate our homes, and they keep our hair conditioned. Yet as our society constantly searches to be more sustainable and safer, the potential negative effects of formulated products are facing much greater scrutiny. This means that the stakeholders involved in making these formulations are under constant pressure from both regulators and the general public to improve the sourcing and credentials of their raw materials. With frequently changing and stricter regulations, there is a need to find alternative materials and to manage the consequences of these new materials or product properties. The key outcome of this shift in attitude to formulated products is that the formulation industry needs to move from art to science, utilising new technologies to overcome this challenge. The following piece will discuss the effect of regulations on formulators, covering the need for quick re-formulation, the cost implications of this and how regulations ultimately drive innovation in the industry.