University of Leeds spin-out Keracol Limited has teamed up with Marks & Spencer to produce a natural skin care range using the waste products of grapes.
The research team at Keracol found a new way to extract resveratrol, a natural molecule found in the outer skins of red grapes, which is an antioxidant and known to have protective anti-ageing properties.
Using the skin from English Pinot Noir grapes left over from the production of M&S' own English sparkling and rose wine, the new extraction process has now helped M&S become the first high street retailer to recycle their own grape waste into a new beauty product range.
Dr Richard Blackburn, from the University of Leeds and co-founder of Keracol Limited, said: "Our aim is to help retailers like M&S make use of the great array of chemistry that nature provides. Sustainable extraction from our natural products has real benefits. What's more, the grape is the world's largest fruit crop, and with the wine production industry providing significant waste with all the skins, seeds and stems, there is considerable scope to build on this approach."
After years of perfecting the extraction process to produce a more stabilised form of resveratrol, Keracol worked with another University of Leeds spin-out, Critical Processes Limited, to produce the grape skin extract on a large scale.
An M&S British eco factory then developed skin care formulations to create the product range, Pure Super Grape, which has since been clinically proven to improve skin radiance, even out skin tone and boost hydration.
The Pure Super Grape range is the first natural skincare range to feature resveratrol from English grapes. The anti-ageing range is available exclusively in M&S stores and online from July 2014.
Grape is the world's largest fruit crop with more than 65 million metric tons per annum and the wine production industry provides a significant waste stream in the form of both pomace (skins, seeds) and stems. In fact, the global amount of pomace produced equates to approximately 20% of the harvested grape.
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More information: Handbook of Natural Colorants. Thomas Bechtold (Editor), Rita Mussak (Co-Editor). ISBN: 978-0-470-51199-2 www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470511990.html