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Geis Microbiological Quality


In satisfying the regulatory and ethical demands for effective preservation through consumer use, formulators and marketers face a dilemma.  Application of historically-effective, traditional preservative systems are discouraged by consumer and retail demands for alternative systems  driven by perceived safety concerns and claims of green/natural/sustainable products.  However, these alternatives are generally less effective and have driven in some applications significantly increased reports of microbial adulteration.  This summarizes and discusses perspectives of a panel of preservative suppliers and service providers regarding efforts to serve this growing consumer segment.  The article addresses and compares traditional preservatives and alternative systems, identifying risks that must be managed in their continued development and application.

Preservatives are an essential element of cosmetic microbiological quality.  Necessary but not sufficient to control contamination, they must be accompanied by appropriate good manufacturing practices (GMPs), manufacturing hygiene and protective packaging to achieve the primary goal – consumer microbiological safety.  In the manufacturing context, GMPs and manufacturing hygiene are the primary tools for microbiological quality with preservatives as necessary agents to mitigate contamination risks due to inadvertent and limited microbial exposure during production.  Failure in these can result in product contamination, significant not only to brand and regulatory compliance but also establishing significant consumer risks.  At greatest risk are those with compromised immunity who can suffer serious infection possibly leading to death (1).

However and as observed by Francesco Tursi of Complife Italia, the primary role of preservation is to control contamination introduced during and through consume ...