Preservatives are incorporated in products such as shampoos, hand creams, and laundry detergents to slow microbial growth and prevent contamination and spoilage. There is an urgent need for green chemistry innovation in preservative technologies because regulations, market demands and increasing consumer interest have shrunk the palette of acceptable preservative options for formulators. The GC3 Preservatives Challenge sought submissions on new broad spectrum or single action chemical agents on gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, yeast and mold, as well as preservative boosters.
Challenge sponsors and participants represented the entire value chain, with 11 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, two major retailers and five suppliers: Babyganics, Beautycounter, Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Consumer (J&J), Kao USA, Method – People Against Dirty, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Reckitt Benckiser (RB), SC Johnson, Unilever, Target, Walmart, Dow Microbial Control, Lonza, Schülke, Symrise, and Thor, as well as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The challenge drew 48 innovative technology submissions from around the globe that were judged by a panel of expert microbiologists, product formulators, and safety experts from sponsoring CPG companies and others. After the submissions were formulated into three simple products, the preservative technologies were evaluated for safety and efficacy by contractors Syracuse Research Corporation and Cosmetech Laboratories, Inc. respectively. The innovators received the results from the safety and performance evaluations and feedback from the judges.
Below are the seven finalists that received portions of the prize pool of $175,000:
1st place award recipients:
· Avisco Ltd.
· IMD Natural Solutions GmbH
· Irena Jevtov Research & Innovation
· United States Department of Agriculture/People Against Dirty/Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry/University of Victoria/Safer Made
2nd place award recipients:
· Hydromer, Inc.
· Russian Academy of Sciences
3rd place award recipient:
· Chinova Bioworks
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