How Ashland is Solving Your Preservative Challenges
Interview with with Andrea Wingenfeld, Global Marketing Manager – Preservatives
Andrea, a challenge for every formulator is getting the right preservation system. How does your preservative selector support your clients?
At Ashland we are a team of passionate solvers who are eager to create sustainable value for our customers, this includes the support in finding the best preservative system for the individual customer needs. Besides talking directly to our solvers, the formulator can use the intuitive preservative selector tool, accessible from any desktop computer or mobile device without special registration needs. By activating the dynamic selection criteria e.g., application, chemistry of choice, pH-range or technologies to avoid, the preservative selector tool suggests the best hits and the drop-down menu provides more details on the individual choices. The additional “news page” provides latest news, quick links to publications and product videos. The formulator´s feedback we receive is very positive, people like the fast track to gain information 24/7 with just a few clicks.
Added to this is the new demand of customers to be ‘green’ and sustainable. What are Ashland’s approaches to these needs?
This is correct, customers prefer natural labels and sustainability claims. Biodegradability and “clean beauty” with skin benefits are selling power. Most of our preservatives and antimicrobial technologies are readily biodegradable, suitable for vegans and hold halal and kosher certifications. We recently launched the phyteq™ raspberry multifunctional technology and are picking up huge interest as the technology works in a wide pH range, has an INCI (Raspberry Ketone) that is recognized by consumers as natural and besides its antimicrobial benefits we have generated a very comprehensive data set to underline its skin benefits.
Do natural preservatives offer the same efficacy or do you need to have a preservative booster?
Great question, but as there is no clear definition of a natural preservative, this is not easy to be answered. The efficacy of natural, nature identical or naturally derived antimicrobial technologies is really depending on the final cosmetic formula. Emulsifiers, pH values, the amount of oil phase and much more can influence the antimicrobial behavior. To determine the best approach we offer, besides the guidance through our skilled teams, microbiological testing in our test centers around the globe.
Dealing with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we see a growing demand in anti-microbial ingredients in personal care products. How does Ashland react to this demand?
The pandemic situation is influencing the product development cycles and as well the selection of the antimicrobial technologies. Still some R&D labs are closed or work in shift models, so the remaining teams are focusing more on well known technologies, so called “working horses” that can be based on e.g., Phenoxyethanol or organic acids. We offer our help as much as possible not just from the preservative angle, as well in providing prototype formulations that can be adjusted to the customers needs. To build on the success of our preservative selector, Ashland just launched recently a new online tool the >> formulation selector
And lastly, what are your experiences with customer communication during the lockdown?
The pandemic has caused an immense change in communications, lot of people work from home or only part-time in their offices and labs. Instead of face-to-face meetings we changed to online calls and honestly it is great to see how interactive they can be. I believe we all learned a lot during the lockdown and we don´t feel isolated anymore. The modern communication tools like chats, video calls, interactive training sessions allow for flexible and timely exchange. Working more remote is the new modern, but in parallel we are all desperately looking for after lockdown scenarios with live meetings at e.g., upcoming trade fairs.