Belgian firm tapping into APAC's 'beauty from within' trend with cosmeceutical products

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

PhytoflORAL was developed by Israel-based IBR, a proprietary natural cosmetic and food ingredient maker Frutarom acquired at the beginning of the year.
PhytoflORAL was developed by Israel-based IBR, a proprietary natural cosmetic and food ingredient maker Frutarom acquired at the beginning of the year.

Related tags Beauty from within APAC Supplements cosmeceuticals

Belgian flavour and ingredient firm Frutarom Health is targeting APAC expansion with its cosmeceutical products, starting with its most recent launch, PhytoflORAL.

A non-GMO tomato-derived proprietary powder rich in the carotenoids phytoene and phytofluene, it can be used in capsule, chewable, pre-mix sachet, and beverage format.

PhytoflORAL was developed by Israel-based IBR, a proprietary natural cosmetic and food ingredient maker Frutarom acquired at the beginning of the year.

According to Frutarom, the product has multiple skin health and beauty benefits, including anti-ageing, skin-brightening and complexion-evening properties, as well as protection against oxidation and sun exposure.

The company will be exhibiting at this year's Vitafoods Asia, to be held in Singapore on September 11 and 12.

Science-backed beauty

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, IBR's business development and marketing VP Liki von Oppen-Bezalel said: "We have conducted numerous in vitro tests on PhytoflORAL's actives (phytoene and phytofluene), including its anti-oxidation capacity, anti-inflammatory properties, inhibition of MMP-1 expression (collagenase), protection of DNA from oxidative damage, protection against UV, and inhibition of melanin synthesis.

"In all these tests, the actives showed very good effects. To understand and elucidate its skin-whitening mechanism of action, we conducted a gene expression analysis that supported our previous findings in in vitro and in vivo studies."

She elaborated on two clinical studies, which aimed to evaluate the product's skin photo-protection and skin tone-lightening effects.

She said that in both studies, skin dryness, roughness, suppleness, texture and evenness were evaluated by trained clinicians and study participants.

In one study, PhytoflORAL's photo-protective effects were reported after 84 days of supplementation, while the other observed noticeable skin-lightening in 82% of its participants after 42 days of supplementation (and further lightening after 84 days).

Von Oppel-Bezalel added that the data showed evidence that the dietary intake of phytoene and phytofluene (in the form of PhytoflORAL, in this case) led to the accumulation of carotenoids in the skin, therefore resulting in protection against oxidative and photo damage, as well as skin-lightening and evening effects.

In addition, phytoene and phtyofluene's antioxidant properties are especially effective against hydroxyl radicals — also known to be the most destructive of free radicals.

Both carotenoids accumulate in the skin, lungs, plasma, and breast tissue following ingestion, and are thought to contribute to protection against oxidative stress and even pollution.

There are also ongoing clinical and in vitro​ studies being conducted on PhytoflORAL's bioavailability, though von Oppen-Bezalel said she could not provide further details at the moment.

Active and attractive in APAC

PhytoflORAL is currently sold in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, India, Australia, China and South Korea.

According to von Oppen-Bezalel, APAC is one of the top markets for 'beauty from within' ingredients, but skin health claims for some of these products — especially promises of '​skin-whitening' — often entail the use of unsafe compounds.

For this reason, Frutarom saw an opportunity to produce a "safe, research-backed natural ingredient"​ like PhytoflORAL.

"The skin-lightening, protective benefits of PhytoflORALmake it a very attractive, natural and safe product for this market specifically,"​ said von Oppen-Bezalel.

"Some of these countries are more receptive and accommodating to such interesting innovations and we decided to start with those, understanding that the rest of the market may follow after a few success stories."

With regards to expanding Frutarom's cosmeceutical portfolio, von Oppen-Bezalel declined to go into detail, adding: "IBR is a major part of the cosmetic ingredient arm of Frutarom and the cooperation (between us) is ongoing, with the current innovative and proprietary portfolio of IBR actives and the future development of new products."

To find out more about Vitafoods Asia, click here​.

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