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News 25.10.2022

An avocado first: seeds to replace microplastics in cosmetics

For the first time ground avocado seeds are being used in beauty products replacing the now banned and environmentally harmful plastic micro-beads previously used. After three years of research, development and product testing, …

An avocado first: seeds to replace microplastics in cosmetics
The new Avocado Dr. Craft range has demonstrated proof of concept that the versatile fruit can be used not only in food but also as a replacement for microplastics within cosmetics (Photo: Westfalia Fruit)

For the first time ground avocado seeds are being used in beauty products replacing the now banned and environmentally harmful plastic micro-beads previously used. After three years of research, development and product testing, Westfalia Fruit’s business in the UK is supplying the ground avocado seeds to the premium beauty brand Dr. Craft for use as a part of a range of cosmetics.

Johnathan Sutton, Group Safety & Environmental Executive at Westfalia Fruit has been working closely with Dr. Craft and its academic arm Keracol to ensure the use of avocado stones meet all the stringent safety requirements demanded of an ingredient in beauty products. “The project has involved several UK universities, including Leeds and Kingston, to verify and validate the use of avocado seeds. The extraction process is very complex, but with perseverance a perfect particle size and process was discovered to work within a cosmetic body scrub as the replacement for microbeads.”

Currently, avocado waste components including skins and stones are used in low value anaerobic digestors. The sustainable inclusion in beauty and cosmetics opens a new, higher value alternative in-line with our history of identifying, implementing and pioneering, innovative and industry leading methods to reduce inputs, waste and reinforces our commitment to protecting the health of the environment in which we operate, in the most sustainable way possible.

“The Dr. Craft brand is founded on scientific knowledge and expertise, using nature as our inspiration,” said Professor Richard Blackburn, Co-Founder & Director of Keracol and the brand Dr. Craft. “With a focus on green chemistry, our previous research looked at extracts from wine industry grape waste and citrus peels in a number of different products, but the more we studied avocados the more interesting and exciting it became.”

The new Avocado Dr. Craft range has demonstrated proof of concept that the versatile fruit can be used not only in food but also as a replacement for microplastics within cosmetics, with a plethora of other workstreams in the process of development for use within a wide range of industries.

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