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Biotechnologies, a powerful lever of innovation

In the field of natural active ingredients used in cosmetics, the natural raw materials have historically been coming from the plant world, thus using plants as a whole (leaves, flowers, fruits, roots, etc.). For several years, however, biotechnologies have offered a promising diversification to market players. Close-up of these new levers of innovation.

Biotechnologies lead to the large-scale industrial culture of microorganisms, living organisms invisible to the naked eye. They comprise varied life forms, including bacteria, yeasts and microalgae, each composed of thousands of species. These microorganisms are present in all ecosystems (the skin, plants, etc.) and provide immense potential as a result of their diversity and also because of their unique metabolic features.

They can grow and prosper in conditions that are occasionally very harsh, can develop interactions with their environment (host, other microorganisms, etc.) and can regulate their ecosystem, for example to participate in the protection, regeneration or reproduction of their host. These fascinating properties are elements that can be studied and used in cosmetics to open the door to unique molecules of interest.

The use of biotechnologies to produce natural raw materials is a sustainable and biodiversity-friendly path. It enables a large quantity of biomass or supernatant of interest to be obtained whenever needed. Indeed, only one initial sample of a strain of microorganisms from nature is needed, as it can be reproduced almost indefinitely in industrial bioreactors with control of culture parameters (1 milliliter of an initial cell culture can yield one ton of biomass).

In addition, a traceable and secure supply chain can be totally assured, especially when the company decides to integrate on its site its own biotechnologies production unit. All production phases, from R&D all the way to industrialization, are thus carried out in-house. The biomasses and supernatants obtained are thoroughly controlled in terms of both quality and quantity, and the processes are repeatable and reproducible.

The control of culture parameters of microorganisms, from the laboratory to the industrial scales, optimizes the value of the cell biomass produced on the one hand, by profiting from the intrinsic and unique features of these strains of microorganisms, and of the supernatant on the other hand, by using these microorganisms as “natural factories” to produce molecules of interest in controlled conditions. This global approach favors and reinforces the development of novel concepts.

Based on its strong historic understanding of the plant kingdom, for the past 15 years, SILAB has been developing a unique biotechnology expertise for the production and optimal use of unicellular organisms. The company pays special attention to the origin of its raw materials, explaining why it decided to conduct the large-scale culture of these cells in-house with the construction of a dedicated biotechnologies production unit.

Its latest biotechnological innovation, LACTOBIOTYL®, was launched at the end of 2019. This postbiotic is obtained by bioguiding Lactobacillus arizonensis, a probiotic strain of plant origin known for its adaptation to extreme conditions of drought. The contribution of its plant substrate, jojoba, enables Lactobacillus arizonensis to secrete active molecules of interest that can improve the quality of dry skin without disturbing the equilibrium of the cutaneous microbiota.

Marion Jargot

Communication Officer
After a Master's degree in Strategy & Marketing, I joined SILAB in 2015 as a Communication Officer. I am particularly in charge of sharing with our stakeholders the company's responsible commitments and actions in terms of sustainable development.

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