The Formulator’s Secret to More Biodegradable Home Care Formulations

Learn how to make ingredient choices that align with your product development goals yet are easy to use and better for the environment, too.

The Formulator’s Secret to More Biodegradable Home Care Formulations

Learn how to make ingredient choices that align with your product development goals yet are easy to use and better for the environment, too.

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Meet Komagataeibacter xylinum​

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CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid Is The More Sustainable Suspension Aid

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The power of plants is everywhere these days – from what’s on your plate for dinner to how you clean it afterwards. According to Innova Market Insights (April 2021), there is a rising demand for more plant-based cleaning options. Newness is taking shape in plant-powered dishwashing liquid formulations that clean yet are skin-friendly and biodegradable. Consumers have an increasing awareness of synthetic ingredients and their effects, especially on the environment.

Formulators often wonder how using plant-based ingredients might alter functionality in a dishwashing liquid. Will they deliver the same cleaning power to remove tough, baked-on grease? Also, how will the ingredients hold together? Homemade dishwashing liquids are usually quite thin and need to be shaken.

CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid is the more sustainable suspension aid. It’s a biodegradable, nature-based alternative to thickeners such as carbomers. It suspends decorative beads, pearlescents, fragrance encapsulates and scrubbers independently of surfactant level. And it stabilizes in a wide range of conditions with minimal impact on the viscosity of the final product. Made by microbial fermentation, CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid is bio-identical to cellulose commonly found in nature. Yet our patented process creates a continuous, reticulated network with a very high surface area-to-weight ratio. This 3D net adds reliable structuring and a true yield value at low concentrations in a formulation. 

Ease of Use

Comes pre-activated and ready to use. No pH adjustment required. Easy to disperse under low-to-moderate mixing conditions.

Excellent Performance

Low use level of 0.5-5% w/w. Provides suspension and stabilization without significantly altering the pour viscosity of the formulation. Freeze-thaw stable to -20° C for at least 5 cycles.

Cost Efficient

Suitable for economic formulations as well as highly concentrated formulations, including unidose laundry systems. Cellulose is not water-soluble. Formulating into low/no-water formulations is possible! 

 

Have questions about a specific formulation? Contact us. 

 

How to Clean Up Home Care Products

Consumers across all segments like to read product labels before purchasing. They have great expectations for ingredient transparency and would like brands to show how “clean” their labels are. We’ve seen the rise of ‘clean beauty’ transforming the personal care market. The trend has also reached home care, including laundry detergent, fabric softeners and dishwashing detergent. (Should we call it clean cleaning?) Let’s take a look at how it started and how it’s going.

In 2020, a survey by IBM and the National Retail Federation looked at consumer shopping behavior in 28 countries.

Nearly eight in 10 survey respondents said that sustainability was important. Seven in 10 said they were looking for specific attributes in their product choice, and nearly six in 10 would change their shopping habits to help reduce negative environmental impact.

What do consumers look for? Here is a partial list of issues that could be important:

Not containing chemicals harmful to my family

Not containing chemicals harmful to the environment

Biodegradable

Free from plastics

Made from plants/vegan

Food-grade ingredients

Paraben free

Understanding of fragrance ingredients/use essential oils

Hypoallergenic/Gentle on skin

Cruelty free

Concentrated formula

No product waste/recyclable packaging

Treatment of employees and concern for community

As we can see from the list above, the issues reflect a concern of “doing no harm” to the health of humans, animals and our waterways.

Why Biodegradability Is Central to Sustainability

Manufacturers are turning to more plant-based surfactants, enzymes and other functional materials rather than petroleum-based solutions, and more concentrated formulations for less packaging. However, ingredients also need to be biodegradable to break down rapidly in a way that is not harmful to the environment or waterways.

Researchers estimate that about eight million metric tons of waste plastic enters the ocean every year. Microplastics – those scrubbing, pearlescent and fragrance beads used to differentiate home and personal care formulations – were part of the plastic problem. They began to appear in body washes, liquid face soaps, dishwashing liquid, liquid laundry detergents and fabric softeners in the ‘70s. Consumers liked the idea of scent capsules that helped provide long-lasting freshness. Manufacturers liked that they were economical and rinsed off easily. 

However, the microplastics also passed straight through wastewater treatment systems, which were not designed to filter them. Since the microplastics were not biodegradable, they tended to accumulate in waterways and could be ingested by marine life, potentially entering our food supply. Many countries now ban the use of microplastics, and the search is on for a biodegradable alternative.

CELLULON™ Cellulose Liquid: A Biodegradable Stabilizer

Any new technology to replace microplastics will require something to stabilize it in liquid formulations. CELLULON™ Cellulose Liquid may be just the hero stabilizer that formulators need. Chemically identical to plant-derived cellulose, CELLULON™ Cellulose Liquid is produced by a microbial fermentation process.

This provides several unique benefits:

  • It is biodegradable and eco-friendly with a lifecycle not dependent on land and water usage
  • It forms a 3D, net-like structure to easily suspend opacifiers
  • High surface area-to-weight ratio
  • Not sensitive to temperature, salt or pH
  • Compatible with highly concentrated formulas
  • Disperses easily
  • Dilutes quickly
  • Won’t thicken or affect pour viscosity
  • Dependable, batch-to-batch repeatability for
    scale up
  • Low cost in use

In summary, biodegradability should be an essential part of your sustainability commitment when looking to clean up your home care formulations.

2021 Personal Care and Household Care Trends

In this recorded webinar, CP Kelco’s Director of Marketing for Strategic Segments, Sandra Catarino, and Kaitlyn Shipskie, our Marketing Intelligence Analyst, share how the pandemic and an ongoing focus on sustainability influenced this year’s home and personal care trends.

Click here to discover our innovative solutions for home and personal care applications.

2021 Personal Care and Household Care Trends

In this recorded webinar, CP Kelco’s Director of Marketing for Strategic Segments, Sandra Catarino, and Kaitlyn Shipskie, our Marketing Intelligence Analyst, share how the pandemic and an ongoing focus on sustainability influenced this year’s home and personal care trends.

Click here to discover our innovative solutions for home and personal care applications.

How to Clean Up Home Care Products

Consumers across all segments like to read product labels before purchasing. They have great expectations for ingredient transparency and would like brands to show how “clean” their labels are. We’ve seen the rise of ‘clean beauty’ transforming the personal care market. The trend has also reached home care, including laundry detergent, fabric softeners and dishwashing detergent. (Should we call it clean cleaning?) Let’s take a look at how it started and how it’s going.

In 2020, a survey by IBM and the National Retail Federation looked at consumer shopping behavior in 28 countries.

Nearly eight in 10 survey respondents said that sustainability was important. Seven in 10 said they were looking for specific attributes in their product choice, and nearly six in 10 would change their shopping habits to help reduce negative environmental impact.

What do consumers look for? Here is a partial list of issues that could be important:

Not containing chemicals harmful to my family

Not containing chemicals harmful to the environment

Biodegradable

Free from plastics

Made from plants/vegan

Food-grade ingredients

Paraben free

Understanding of fragrance ingredients/use essential oils

Hypoallergenic/Gentle on skin

Cruelty free

Concentrated formula

No product waste/recyclable packaging

Treatment of employees and concern for community

As we can see from the list above, the issues reflect a concern of “doing no harm” to the health of humans, animals and our waterways.

Why Biodegradability Is Central to Sustainability

Manufacturers are turning to more plant-based surfactants, enzymes and other functional materials rather than petroleum-based solutions, and more concentrated formulations for less packaging. However, ingredients also need to be biodegradable to break down rapidly in a way that is not harmful to the environment or waterways.

Researchers estimate that about eight million metric tons of waste plastic enters the ocean every year. Microplastics – those scrubbing, pearlescent and fragrance beads used to differentiate home and personal care formulations – were part of the plastic problem. They began to appear in body washes, liquid face soaps, dishwashing liquid, liquid laundry detergents and fabric softeners in the ‘70s. Consumers liked the idea of scent capsules that helped provide long-lasting freshness. Manufacturers liked that they were economical and rinsed off easily. 

However, the microplastics also passed straight through wastewater treatment systems, which were not designed to filter them. Since the microplastics were not biodegradable, they tended to accumulate in waterways and could be ingested by marine life, potentially entering our food supply. Many countries now ban the use of microplastics, and the search is on for a biodegradable alternative.

CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid: A Biodegradable Stabilizer

Any new technology to replace microplastics will require something to stabilize it in liquid formulations. CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid may be just the hero stabilizer that formulators need. Chemically identical to plant-derived cellulose, CELLULON® Cellulose Liquid is produced by a microbial fermentation process.

This provides several unique benefits:

  • It is biodegradable and eco-friendly with a lifecycle not dependent on land and water usage
  • It forms a 3D, net-like structure to easily suspend opacifiers
  • High surface area-to-weight ratio
  • Not sensitive to temperature, salt or pH
  • Compatible with highly concentrated formulas
  • Disperses easily
  • Dilutes quickly
  • Won’t thicken or affect pour viscosity
  • Dependable, batch-to-batch repeatability for
    scale up
  • Low cost in use

In summary, biodegradability should be an essential part of your sustainability commitment when looking to clean up your home care formulations.