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Amphoteric surfactant of vegetable origin for multifunctional use in personal care

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Amphoteric surfactant of vegetable origin for multifunctional use in personal care

An experience of incentive, innovation and sustainability

Green CAPB-B is a co-surfactant supplied by Citróleo that has proven efficacy in aiding the thickening of formulations, viscosity adjustment with lower amount of electrolytes, conditioning and forms a soft and creamy foam for longer time (compared to regular products derived of palm oil).

The positioning of this product involves the evolution of the consumption of natural cosmetics (vegetalization of labels), combating deforestation of tropical forests (mainly driven by the use of palm oil, that is present in the composition of competitors similar to the product) and proven origin (contrasting direct competitors of the product, whose production chain is unclear and not open to customers). In addition, in the production of crude babaçu oil, the origin of the Green CAPB-B, more than 600 people are associated with cooperatives in the state of Maranhão and Tocantins.

Then, in a voluntary initiative to combat the use of palm oil for the production of cosmetics and for the enhancement of Amazonian actives, Citróleo innovates and launches a new line of products that adds the richness of Brazilian biodiversity to the highest technology applied in cosmetics, the CitroTech line. This line is composed by natural surfactants, from fully traceable vegetable sources, which preserve the unique and special characteristics of their original products.

The vegetalization of the cosmetic’s labeling is already a global reality. Consumers are more aware of the raw materials used in the production of their consumer items, so that more and more they demand from their suppliers a position regarding the ethics and sustainability of each ingredient used.

Keeping an eye on this trend, Citróleo focuses its efforts on a specific but growing market niche that demands a clean, efficient and mostly transparent production chain. In this scenario, it guarantees proven traceability of each input involved in the manufacture of its surfactants.

In particular, Green CAPB-B assumes a market gap: although with known competition potential,the product is the only one among its category, whose main ingredient used, the babaçu non-refined oil, has its origin completely enlightened, traceable and free from deforestation (it comes from a sustainable and planned extraction in communities assisted by the company in the states of Maranhão and Tocantins / BR).

Green CAPB-B is a betaine derived from babaçu oil and has excellent dermal compatibility. In addition, associated with anionic surfactants, it allows synergistic reduction of irritability to the eyes and skin, bringing a softer, stable and creamy foam, besides being naturally more viscous. The product is suitable for transparent, pearly, creamy and infant shampoo formulations, bath gel, foam bath and liquid soaps.

The Babaçu oil, used in Green CAPB-B comes from seeds collected by cooperatives and workers’ associations, from Northeastern Brazil, partners of the Citróleo Group. The collection of these seeds is done manually: the maturation time of the fruit is respected and when naturally it is detached from the tree is that then the workers, or collectors (literal translation of Portuguese), make their harvest.

These workers’ organizations usually stay in communities with poor sanitation, housing, access to decent education, food and health. This shows the importance of professionalizing, encouraging and supporting these people.

A practical example is the extraction of babaçu, a project of Citróleo in partnership with producers in the state of Maranhão and Tocantins, which directly impacts the lives of more than 600 people, who together provide over 60 tons of fully traceable babassu oil. This cooperation network occurs in locations with an HDI-M, on average, around 0.60, according to UNDP 2000 data.

In particular, all the benefits found in the use of Green CAPB-B occur due to its original oil, the babaçu crude oil. This oil is composed of fatty acids in a ratio of approximately 85/15 between saturated and unsaturated (this observation indicates consistency and guides an end use).

Its main constituent is lauric acid (C12:0). The reaction of this fatty acid with cationic actives increases the lipophilicity of the medium and with that an increase of the permeability of active is observed. Lauric acid is also the precursor of monolaurine (an established antimicrobial). But the particularity of babaçu oil is on its ability to act as a co-emulsifier, helping not only the permeability of products through the skin and scalp, but also stabilizing O/W emulsions (its calculated EBL value is 8).

The entire composition of babaçu oil allows that the Green CAPB-B surfactant exhibits a superior performance to the regular betaine from palm oil, so that both comparatively and objectively, the natural in origin surfactant exhibits very satisfactory results. In an objective test to evaluate the properties of its foam, besides the smallest amount of electrolytes required for viscosity gain, the Green CAPB-B allowed the formation of a creamy and stable foam.

Figure 1. Objective Test for Evaluation of Foam Properties.
Green CAPB-B @ 1% promoted a 19% reduction in the required amount
of viscosity donors in the formulation compared to betaine derived from palm oil.

In order to evaluate the efficacy of the product, a subjective in-house research showed that the use of Green CAPB-B promoted a better definition of curls, hair alignment, volume reduction, and long-lasting effect compared to betaine use of palm oil.

Table 1. Comparative study in Shampoo: Cocamidopropyl Betaine of Babaçu Oil vs Cocamidopropyl Betaine of Palm Oil.

This type of positioning of a specialty, taking into account its production history, traceability at the level of producing communities, as well as the complete chemical composition of the raw material, meets the main requirements not only of final recipients (the consumer who finds the product subtly placed in the product listing on the shelves), as well as internationally consolidated distribution channels, companies and groups that know and manage the key requirements of these receivers.

Figure 2. Test in tresses showing the long-lasting effect, definition of curls and frizz achieved by Green CAPB-B compared to betaine derived from palm.

Thus, Citróleo has been standing out in the world scenario of actives and supplies for cosmetics, due to its insistent seek for products that preserve its history, through respect for the company, the culture and knowledge of its producers. Citróleo Group believes that only by giving assistance and support to socio-environmental initiatives to the communities that produce its raw material, does it guarantee the real sustainability throughout its production chain. After all, the alliance between nature, innovation and well-being are the essence of the company and all its collaborators.