Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Cell wall component of Aspergillus niger has good moisturising properties and is eco friendly

A Belgium-based company KitoZyme has performed a number of trials investigating the potential of its chitin-glucan ingredient in skin care products. Chitin-glucan is a copolymer found in the cell wall of several fungi, including Aspergillus niger, the source of KitoZyme’s ingredient.

In a 16-week study, a moisturizing day cream containing 1.5% chitin-glucan was applied twice daily to two 3cm areas on the forearm of 20 healthy men. A similar moisturising cream without the chitin-glucan was applied to the other forearm to act as a control.

Skin firmness, stratum corneum hydration and skin topography were measured as was skin surface harshness and skin roughness. Skin firmness was measured by investigating the propogation speed of an ultrasound shear wave and, according to the results, treatment with chitin-glucan significantly firmed the skin compared to the placebo, particularly at the end of the treatment. The electrical capacitance of the skin was used to measure the skin hydration and the study claims the chitin-glucan improved skin hydration by 11.3% from week 4. Measurements of skin topography also improved after the application of chitin-glucan, the study claims.

The study concludes that the ingredient has potential for use in skin-moisturizing and anti-aging formulations. In addition, it highlights the non animal-derived and environmentally friendly nature of the product particularly as KitoZyme’s chitin-glucan ingredient is extracted from the vegetative part (mycelium) of a microscopic fungi Aspergillus niger, which is already a by-product of the commercial production of pharmaceutical and food-grade citric acid.
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