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Comment Sustainability

Amyris commercializing sugarcane-based silica

By Mary Page Bailey |

Aprinnova, Inc., an Amyris, Inc. (Emeryville, Calif.) joint venture, is commercializing a plant-derived silica made from sugarcane ashes. Silica is used widely in personal care and cosmetics. It is traditionally sourced from non-renewable sand dredging, which requires significant energy consumption and emits large amounts of C02. The new ingredient branded Biosilica can be used in foundations, creams, lotions and other applications as a sustainable and better performing alternative to traditional silica. In addition, it offers an alternative to microplastics which are being phased out of many cosmetic products.

This ingredient innovation has been led by Amyris, a synthetic biotechnology company in the Clean Health and Beauty markets and a top supplier of sustainable and natural ingredients, in partnership with the Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Escola Superior de Biotecnologia (UCP) in Porto/AICEP Consortium Project. As of last year, Grand View Research, Inc. projected that the color cosmetics market is expected to be valued at about $87 billion in retail value by 2025, with a CAGR of approximately 6% and according to an analysis of Mintel GNPD, over 10% of new color cosmetic product launches over the last five years contained silica.

Biosilica is available for sampling in August with commercial scale volumes expected to begin in 2021.

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