A circular model for the design of new cosmetic ingredients

[Article published in the Microscoop-CNRS magazine No. 85 – March 2022]

A ‘circular’ collaboration that was unique in France was developed in the Centre-Val de Loire region between 4 academic laboratories and 4 socio-economic partners with the goal of launching a regional plant biodiversity enhancement initiative to produce molecules with high added value for the cosmetics sector. We look back on the 3 years of the Valbiocosm project.

encouraging plant biodiversity for the cosmetics sector

Plant sourcing

The first step was the optimisation of the cultivation conditions of plant biomasses, ‘natural’ ones established from plants, and ‘biotechnological’ ones that are derived from the plant cell culture.

The Woody and Field Crops Biology laboratory (LBLGC – USC1328 INRAE/EA 1207 University of Orléans) specialises in the study of the metabolism of plants. In collaboration with the Botanicos’ethic company, it worked on the selection of different plant species that are easily accessible or can be cultivated in the Centre-Val de Loire region. Traditional land-based and more innovative non-soil cultivation methods were implemented so that different parts of plants could be harvested, from leaves/flowers to roots. At the same time, the Biomolecules and Plant Biotechnologies Laboratory (BBV – EA 2106 University of Tours), in association with Sederma and the LBLGC, optimised biotechnological cultivation methods by developing plant cell cultures from the selected plants. This phase of crop optimisation resulted in innovative biotechnological processes and the in-vitro biomanufacturing of plant species. These processes necessarily involve many selection steps to orient and promote the synthesis of the compounds of interest…