Probiotics set for oral care

BASF is targeting the oral care and cosmetics markets with an ingredient more commonly used as a probiotic in food. The German ingredients giant has been developing solutions with another German firm, Biotech Organo Balance, since 2002 and is close to fruition with a Lactobaccilus ingredient it foresees having skin care, oral hygiene and deodorant applications.

"At the moment, BASF and its partners are focused on the development of innovative oral care products," company spokeswoman Birgit Lau told FF&N. "The developments in the field of toothpaste and mouthwash are furthest advanced. We anticipate the first oral hygiene products, such as toothpaste or mouthwash, to be available by 2007."

"With lactobacillus anti-caries we have found an antagonist which effectively binds to the caries germs and prevents them adhering to the surface of the teeth", said Dr Andreas Reindl, project leader at BASF Future Business.

Skin and deodorant applications are also being developed.

BASF estimates the world market for toothpaste and mouthwash at about $16.66 billion in 2005 with a growth rate of about 2 per cent, and face creams, lotions and deodorants at $48.7 billion, and growing at 3 per cent.

"Negotiations are currently in progress with various manufacturers", Reindl said.

Probiotic lactic acid bacteria can be used in either a live or dead freeze-dried form — depending on the application, desired effect and formulation required for a cosmetic product.

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