Vegan silk – How can silk be vegan?

N. Blosl, K. Schacht

Silk has historically been associated with a high status or opulence. Even today
silk plays a big role in the fashion and beauty industry. Silk is due to its conditioning
and nourishing effect an excellent choice for skin and hair care products.
In general, silk is a protein, which is spun into fibres by e.g. silkworms, spiders,
flies, scorpions and mites [1].The term silk was more exactly defined by Catherine
Craig (scientist and expert for silks): “Silks are fibrous proteins containing
highly repetitive sequences of amino acids, stored as liquid and transferred into
fibers when sheared at secretion [2].” Silk produced by silkworms and spiders
are the most investigated silk types.
Silk from the cocoon of silkworms is one of the most frequently used proteins in
cosmetic products [3]. A high demand of silk for the beauty industry has become
a real challenge for nature. For the production of one kilogram raw silk 6600
silkworms and approx. 200 kg mulberry tree leaves are necessary [4-5].
Another promising source for silk proteins is spider silk. Spider silk proteins
are known for their qualities to add smoothness to the skin and leaving a
silky feeling. But the production of spider silk is limited. Due to their cannibalistic
and territorial behavior, spiders are very difficult to farm [6].To deliver
a non-animal derived silk, the research was driven to nature inspired by the
superior properties of spiders’ silk. For the production of innovative vegan
silk proteins, Givaudan Active Beauty has developed the Advanced Silk
Technology. Silk proteins are produced in a biotechnological process using
14,02 € each

plus 7% VAT (Germany only)

Online available
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