FUNDETEX – Research and development of detergent formulae which provide functional skin and health care properties for the user
The Spanish market for soaps and detergents represents sales volumes of €3.4 billion (source: IFEDES Business Development Study, Report on the soap and detergent sector in the Valencian Community and Spain, 2019). The variety of detergents and softeners on the market is as wide as the needs and expectations of consumers, and to protect their market share, manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for innovative products that provide added value and functionality rather than simply washing whiter or cleaner.
There are many different formats available (liquid, powder, capsules) and softeners with different fragrances (lavender, jasmine, citrus combination, rose, etc.). Despite the sector’s evolution, detergent manufacturers work tirelessly to the reliability, functionality and sustainability of their product, backed up by consumer experience. On the other hand, consumers are becoming ever more demanding on the quality and functionality of detergents.
Despite this, detergent and cleaning products that care for the health and well-being of the user and able to transfer particular properties or a specific functionality from the detergent to clothes and skin are relatively rare. Similarly, there are few examples of detergents that, despite being sought by powerful consumer segments such as millennials or seniors (source: Kantar Worldpanel, 2017), are environmentally friendly, made from natural or renewable resources, are anti-allergenic and harmless.
This is the background behind AITEX’s proposal to develop and evaluate detergent and softener formulae that, in addition to cleaning clothes, provide functional properties for the wearer’s skin during use.
The main objective of the project is to develop detergents and softeners that provide functional properties to the consumer’s skin and health, through research into additives and functionalised compounds with anti-mosquito, moisturising or anti-cellulite properties, to name a few. In addition, the transfer of the properties to the user will be studied through contact with washed clothes and fabrics.
The scientific and technical objectives are indicated below:
- Investigate liquid and solid functional compounds and additivesfor different aspects related to skin care and health.
- Determine the compatibility, stability and mixing capacity of these compounds with detergent and softenerbases.
- Establish the need to protect functional compounds, to ensure their functionality and stability against the passage of time and contact with other chemicals.
- Develop the most suitable formulaeand mixing procedures, establishing the optimumpercentage of the additive that provides an adequate functional level, while representing a technically and economically viable formula.
- Study the transfer ofthe detergent’sproperties to the user, through contact with washed clothes and fabrics, determining the necessary dose of functional detergent per wash, recommended washing time, influence of the type of fabric or garment, and its influence on the cleaning capacity of detergent or softener, etc.
- Developandimplement appropriate evaluation methods for the functional properties, through a combination of analytical techniques and user groups, to provide information of interest in the transfer of results to manufacturers, and that this information is transmitted to consumers in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.
Different detergent formulae (mostly liquids since this is what currently prevails on the market, but the possibilities will also be investigated for powder detergents and those offered by new formats such as capsules and tablets) and softeners, in which additives and functional compounds are included:
- UV protectors
- Pre– and probiotics
Another key result of the proposal will be to develop and implement reproducible evaluation approaches to determine special properties. The resulting data will enable the validation of the proposed functionalities and provide technical information that, correctly analysed and communicated, will be vital for future R & D actions with manufacturers and the marketing campaigns that they may develop in the future.
This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.
GRANT NUMBER: IMAMCI/2019/1
MORE INFORMATION IN THE NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES PLAN
- Year: 2019
- Status: Finished
- Entity: IVACE