IP Australia granted patent protection to LycoRed Ltd. for an invention in the field of skin care. The innovation is a carotenoid composition of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene and optionally vitamin E that protects the skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. The novelty of this invention lies in the fact that it is not, as one might expect, a topical application.
Rather, LycoRed’s researchers have come up with a natural tomato carotenoid composition that helps prevent sunburn when taken orally. This novel cosmeceutical preparation can be delivered via a dietary supplement or in a fortified food or beverage.
“While up until now, the dominant means for supplementing the diet with important nutrients was via capsules, what we offer here, is quite unique,” states Zohar Nir, Ph.D., vice president of new product development, LycoRed.
“This is a natural lycopene composition that can be either encapsulated in a soft gel or easily added to a beverage to create a year round fortified sun protection drink. While it does not replace topical sunscreen, when taken daily, it provides a degree of both UVA and UVB protection even during months of the year when one is not likely to apply a topical lotion,” added Mr. Nir.
“Flexibility is key, we need to meet the needs of today’s consumers, and while the convenience of a capsule may work for some, others will welcome these sun protection ingredients in a more traditional food form, like a juice drink. LycoRed can supply a variety of ingredient options to support the new cosmeceutical concept,” he concluded.
Research supporting this patent yielded two findings: first, natural lycopene is more effective than synthetic in protecting the skin from UV damage, and second, natural lycopene’s efficacy is improved when combined with phytoene, phytofluene and vitamin E⎯other antioxidants found naturally in the tomato.
LycoRed, with regional facilities in the U.S., Europe and Israel, supplies natural carotenoids and a wide range of other nutritional and colorant ingredients to the dietary supplement, functional food and cosmetic industries, worldwide.