Des Solutio is developing safer and greener alternatives to the chemicals currently used to make beauty, pharmaceutical, personal care and other products.
It is doing this by creating new methods to use Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NADES) in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and other applications, to replace toxic organic solvents, such as ethanol, employed currently.
Solvents are commonly used in a wide range of industries to extract active ingredients from natural matrices, such as olive oil, mint or seaweed to flavour and scent their products, and enhance the shelf-life and stability of the bioactives.
NADES offer many benefits over existing solvents. Found in a vast range of plants, and so compliant with a green chemistry philosophy, they are entirely derived from natural compounds such as organic acids, amino acids and sugars.
As there are a vast range of NADES already identified, they can be matched to specific active ingredients to extract only what is needed. There is no need to recover an active ingredient from a NADES, unlike conventional solvents, some of which are too toxic for use on skin or in foods.
Other advantages of the technology include improved solubility, permeability and bioavailability of the active compounds, better biodegradability than many organic solvents and greener production processes.
The Company was established to develop and commercialise the research of Associate Professor Ana Rita Duarte and Dr Alexandre Paiva, of Portugal’s NOVA University Lisbon, NOVA School of Science and Technology (“FCT NOVA”).
Their research has already attracted interest from several major industrial groups, including a world-leading cosmetics company and a major pharmaceutical company.