Recycling natural by-products from food and agriculture waste into powerful active ingredients for cosmetic applications


Dellacqua Consulting, Jersey City, USA


In a cosmetic market increasingly looking for sustainable ingredients in finished product, reduction of ingredient carbon footprint through improvement of waste management is becoming a new trend but also a must. Ingredient suppliers are investigating the possibility to recycle by-products or waste from the food manufacturing industry into safe and efficacious cosmetic ingredients. These fully natural food by-products once optimized for use in cosmetic formulations can act as active ingredients. With the objective of waste reduction, it is necessary today to merge the food and cosmetic raw materials supply chains into one supply chain serving both industries without subtracting to one another. In this review I examine some examples of food by-products conversion in cosmetic ingredients.


According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year (1). Just in the United States, 60 million tons and $161 billion worth of food was wasted in 2010 (2), while in the European Union (EU), around 88 million tons per year were wasted in 2013, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros (3). This loss is through the whole food supply chain, from initial agriculture production, to manufacturing, and to final household consumption, as evidenced by a report on food waste in the EU published in 2015 (4). Interestingly, depending on the country, the proportion of food waste in the different phases of the supply chain varies, with agriculture, manufacturing and household as the main contributors of the overall food waste (4). Food production uses land, water, energy, capital and labor, increasing the green gas emission, therefore food waste corresponds to a bad management of resources with a useless increase of global warming. Among plant derived food, statistics show that 30% of cereals and 45% of fruit ...