Kinder, Gentler Detergents And Household Products

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | November 23, 2010

Suppliers explain how they're developing the ingredients and solutions to create effective laundry and household cleaning products with improved environmental profiles.

Raw material suppliers say that they are providing the solutions that enable formulators to create household products that are better for the consumer and the environment—all while keeping an eye on costs. At the recent World Conference on Detergents, which was held in Montreux in October, several suppliers also noted that the best growth for household product manufacturers is in emerging markets, where consumers are turning in their bar soaps in favor of more convenient and effective cleaning formulas.

Novozymes has rolled out a new detergent enzyme solution called XPect, which it calls the first pectin-degrading enzyme for the detergent industry. XPect is able to degrade the pectin, thereby removing the stains, and as an additional benefit it is efficient even at 20°C.

Big Gains for Enzymes
In recent years, the enzyme category has been a growth segment within the laundry detergent category. In fact, while many observers characterized 2009 as a difficult year for the household cleaning product segment, Novozymes still reported a 6% gain in sales on top of annual 12% gains from 2006 to 2008.

But regardless of what the economy is doing, Novozymes has continued to innovate over the years and now offers five categories of enzymes, explained Anders Lund, senior director for household care, Novozmes.


Dow Fabric & Surface Care has introduced technology that adds moisture to hands as you do the dishes.
“We have by far, the largest selection of enzymes in the industry,” he insisted. “Detergent manufacturers are realizing that enzymes are the future of the industry.”

According to Lund, detergent formulators are replacing surfactants with enzymes —a move that was accelerated when oil hit $150 a barrel in 2008. Enzymes may be grabbing a bigger share in laundry detergent formulas, but the ultimate goal—which, for now is still 10 to 20 years away—is an enzymatic detergent.

“It would be low-temperature andbiodegradable. Right now, we can’t create one without surfactants because they optimize the enzyme’s performance,” explained Lund. “We need radical innovation to get us to a fully enzymatic detergent.

News from Cognis
The big news at Cognis, of course, is its pending acquisition by BASF that, at press time, was expected to close in the fourth quarter. Big news, indeed, but Cognis executives insist that it is business as usual at the company for the time being—even while the deal is closed and the discovery phase gets underway. With that in mind, the company has launched Dehydem Supra, which it calls a novel efficient defoamer for industrial and institutional cleaning applications that is easy to formulate and additionally provides a cleaning benefit. It is also suitable for low temperature applications and enables marketers to improve a product’s profile in a number of areas including ecotoxicology, energy savings and reducing complexity, according to Cognis.

“Our message continues to be sustainability; that won’t change,” explained Rita Koester, global marketing director, home care/I&I. “We have the ingredients and the complete formulations (to provide) solutions.”

No wonder why, then, that for the first half of 2010, Cognis’ Care Chemicals division reported a 16% gain in sales to 845 million euros. All regions contributed to the gains, but Asia-Pacific results were especially strong.

Providing sustainable solutions is one of Cognis’ strengths, as is its global footprint. Thomas Schroeder, vice president, care chemicals, global marketing care performance ingredients, noted that one of Cognis’ focus is on emerging markets which will continue to play an important role for the company. Just over a year ago, the company created Cognis India and it has been involved in Brazil and China for decades.

“China is an important player in the emerging markets and environmental protection is becoming more important which can be seen by the increasing emphasis by the Chinese government on environmental regulations. Also, China needs to offer products targeting the green demand in order to grow their sales in other parts of the world. Cognis is in the right position to offer solutions for China,” explained Schroeder.

For example, an alkyl polyglucoside plant was opened in China earlier this year and is now in full production.

“Many emerging markets, such as Brazil and China, expect innovative, sustainable solutions that do not compromise on performance,” explained Koester. “The green aspects of products are very important. Sustainability is a global issue.”

Optimization Is Key
Dow Fabric & Surface Care, a business unit of the Dow Chemical Company, recently introduced Ecosurf EH, a line of specialty surfactants designed to help customers meet rising expectations for performance and convenience while complying with more stringent environmental expectations and safety regulations. According to Dow Chemical, these new surfactants provide superior performance benefits in many formulations over alkylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs and OPEs) and/or fatty alcohol ethoxylates (PAEs) as well as other, commercially available alternative surfactant chemistries.

New products will continue to play an important role at Dow Chemical, but Carlos Silva Lopes, marketing director, Dow Fabric & Surface Care, noted that the company provides much more than a laundry list of ingredients to household product marketers.

“We are looking beyond simplyrolling out new molecules,” he explained. “We’re asking, ‘How do we optimize the ingredients that we have?’ After all, liquid laundry detergent has 12-15 ingredients. The challenge is, how do you make the formula perform even better?”

By combining two of its ingredients (Methocel and Polyox), Dow Fabric & Surface Care researchers created hand dish and hard surface cleaning formulations with increased foam density and volume with small bubble size, improved wet and dry feel on skin with a smooth after-feel and good surface compatibility and salt tolerance.

According to Robert Krasnansky, global research and development leader, Dow Fabric & Surface Care, the household care market is moving toward new performance features that call for using existing materials in new ways. For example, in a dish care formula, adding 0.2% Methocel/Polyox provides a boost to hand moisture—even while the consumer is doing the dishes.

In fact, Dow Chemical maintains that it is moving beyond clean by helping formulators create laundry that smells fresher and stays unwrinkled, carpeting that requires less-frequent vacuuming and sustainable cleaning products that are tough on dirt but safe to use and gentle on the environment.

“Despite the economic crises, no one stopped talking about sustainability, which remains a top concern for brand owners and consumers alike,” observed Silva Lopes.

ISP Adds More Additives
ISP took the opportunity at Montreux to unveil several new chemistries to help cleaning formulators develop better-performing and more cost-effective products for household, institutional and industrial applications. For instance, new Jaypol additives for cleaning include AT4 (a thickening agent for alkaline cleaners), S44 (scale dispersant for HI&I cleaners) and M30 (a dispersing agent for alkaline cleaners). In addition, Jaypol 213 (a thickening agent for fabric softeners) was launched alongside Nuosept BIT, a new biocide for household cleaners.

“All of our customers are striving to achieve better-performing and more cost-effective products,” explained Robert Gibbison, senior director of global marketing. “Whether this is through effective thickening of highly alkaline hard surface cleaners using Jaypol AT4, or achieving the right look and feel of fabric conditioners—without resorting to acrylamide—with Jaypol 213, our extensive range of Jaypol additives ensures that consumers continue to get the HI&I products they demand.”

He also pointed out that the company’s recent acquisition of Ionic Solutions and its acrylate expertise, as well as continued investments in established business lines, makes ISP well positioned to innovate and advance cleaning technology.

“ISP’s acquisition of certain assets of Ionic Solutions was critical in order to broaden the solutions ISP can offer our customers from our expanded chemistry tool box,” noted Gibbison. “We are now fully equipped to meet our customer’s needs by combining 400 years of acrylates R&D experience together with our traditional core strengths of alkyl pyrrolidone- and maleic anhydride-based polymers, specialty surfactants and biocide chemistry.

“When you take a fresh look at what ISP has to offer to the HI&I segment, you’ll realize that we have an answer to your formulation needs,” he said.

That’s a sentiment shared by many suppliers. In fact, no matter what the ingredients they offer to the global household care industry, all the industry suppliers who spoke with Happi noted that many of the answers to consumers’ questions can be found in their laboratories.

“Chemistry will play an important role in sustainability,” insisted Silva Lopes.

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Shin-Etsu Updates Sunscreen Toolbox

    October 6, 2011
    Shin-Etsu Updates Sunscreen Toolbox

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.

  • It’s All About Teamwork

    It’s All About Teamwork

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    Collaboration was the theme of the Consumer Specialty Products Association 2015 annual meeting.

  • Making Sense of Smells

    Making Sense of Smells

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 1, 2016
    Household product perfumery is more complex than ever, with a variety of notes obtained from many different sources.

  • Pod Nation

    Pod Nation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 1, 2016
    Laundry detergent sales remain steady, but where consumers are spending their money and how they’re cleaning clothes is chan

  • In-Cosmetics Paris Has Sights on US

    In-Cosmetics Paris Has Sights on US

    Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics||December 2, 2015
    Market focus is on the USA.

  • Silent Partners

    Silent Partners

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 2, 2015
    I&I suppliers are behind-the-scenes, but critical partners that help keep businesses running and consumers safe.

  • Cleansing Conditioners

    Cleansing Conditioners

    Denise Costrini and Christophe Toumit , Croda Personal Care North America||December 2, 2015
    Relying on consumer data, Croda researchers detail the drivers behind these successful formulas.

  • Just Wild About Harry’s Cosmeticology

    Just Wild About Harry’s Cosmeticology

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2015
    The ninth edition, edited by Meyer Rosen, has been expanded and improved with an emphasis on the future of the industry.

  • Lush Is Flush with Novel Ideas

    Lush Is Flush with Novel Ideas

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2015
    New products are the lifeblood of every company. Lush will launch more than 200 of them.

  • Davids and Goliaths

    Davids and Goliaths

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 2, 2015
    Big brands dominate the oral care category, but a cadre of smaller players vie for customers looking for alternatives.

  • What Do You Mean by Clean?

    What Do You Mean by Clean?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2015
    Household cleaning has undergone many changes over the years and more are on the way, as suppliers develop novel ingredients.

  • A Fresh Take

    A Fresh Take

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2015
    Today’s soaps and shower products do more than just cleanse—they solve skin quandaries, are portable or even look whimsical!

  • Contract Manufacturing/Private Label Directory

    Contract Manufacturing/Private Label Directory

    October 1, 2015
    Our directory is your source to find a manufacturer to get your product to market.

  • Winner Unmasked

    Winner Unmasked

    October 1, 2015
    Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask takes home top honors as Happi’s first Anti-Aging Product of the Year.

  • A Design for Living

    A Design for Living

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 1, 2015
    Cornell McBride Sr. has had a range of successes during his 40-plus years in the hair care business.

  • An Arduous Task?

    An Arduous Task?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 1, 2015
    Elizabeth Arden's JuE Wong is confident that the way to right the company’s ship is by tapping into its rich heritage.

  • Slow Burn

    Slow Burn

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 1, 2015
    No news from the FDA is bad news for the sun care industry.

  • Market Your Cosmetics In Europe with Safety

    Market Your Cosmetics In Europe with Safety

    Pascal Yvon, IDEA TESTS Group||October 1, 2015
    Compliance to European safety regulations for cosmetic products, final formulations and ingredients.

  • Talking Point

    Talking Point

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 1, 2015
    For its inaugural Sustainability Dialog in Frankfurt, Clariant gathered stakeholders that included a mix of customers, third

  • A Consumer Revolution

    A Consumer Revolution

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||June 1, 2015
    IRI’s 2015 Summit celebrates the progression of information.

  • Interior Design

    Interior Design

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||May 1, 2015
    Nutritional products can improve and beautify skin from the inside out.

  • KodaDome


    Tom Branna , Editorial Director||May 1, 2015
    Hair color isn’t all about hiding grays—it’s about selecting shades that reflect individuality, too.

  • Face Valued

    Face Valued

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 1, 2015
    Skin care formulations that promise to protect a prized possession—one’s appearance—are always in demand.

  • Anti-Aging Moisturization

    Anti-Aging Moisturization

    Dr. Stefan Banziger, Dr. Stefan Hettwer, Brigit Suter, Barbara Obermayer, Rahn AG, Zurich, Switzerland||May 1, 2015
    Researchers at Rahn develop a symbiotic moisture concept from lichen, moss and fern that hydrates the skin.

  • A Multifunctional Ingredient for Delicate Eye Contour

    A Multifunctional Ingredient for Delicate Eye Contour

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Albert Soley, Raquel Delgado , Lipotec SAU||May 1, 2015
    Lipotec’s Eyedeline marine ingredient provides several benefits for the delicate skin around the eyes. It reduces vascular pe