The strength of scent

Earlier this year, Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Review reported on the dti’s growing impetus on the importance of South Africa’s cosmetics and personal care sectors to contribute significantly to economic expansion.

This could have a considerable impact on flavour and fragrance houses, according to Michael Gristwood from the South African Association of the Flavour & Fragrance Industry (SAAFFI). ‘A great window of opportunity lies ahead for SME type local businesses to expand their interests as suppliers of fragrances, as minimum order requirements and other issues continue to pose difficulties for local manufacturers,’ explains Gristwood. ‘However,’ he cautions, ‘SME fragrance suppliers are advised to start small as the industry is not without its challenges, such as the heavy regulations and barriers to entry, particularly in the stocking of raw materials to create fragrance compounds.’

SAAFFI works endlessly for the greater good of South Africa’s fragrance and flavours industry, and is a member of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the International Organisation of the Flavor Industry, both of which deal with many of the crucial aspects of fragrances and flavours respectively, including that of safety, on a global level.

One of the biggest challenges looming for the international fragrance industry is the massive expansion to 150 (from 26) of fragrance allergens designated by the European Union, which, if contained in fragrance compound incorporated in a perfume or body spray for example, must be listed in the INCI listing.

Gristwood comments, ‘It’s rather concerning to witness the emotional wave developing in Europe against fragrances. The ramifications lie mainly in issues of product labelling, which, if driven by consumer demand, could end up curbing the creativity of perfumers.’ However, it seems far off and IFRA is working fervently with industry and regulators to bring sense to the matter at hand.

A modern approach

Also an IFRA member, Luzi, a Swiss company that specialises in the development of fragrance compounds, has developed a worldwide network of independent partners spanning 100 countries. By combining the contributed local and regional knowledge along with the specifications of European trends and regulations, Luzi’s perfumers create fragrances that are unique, specific and modern. This is achieved by incorporating inspired twists on the norm, accommodating the specific technical needs and preferences of each area worldwide.

According to Adam Owen, who oversees operations in Johannesburg for O6 Agencies, the sole reseller of Luzi products on the African continent, ‘an example of this is the incredible growth of African formulated and produced hair care products’. He explains, ‘Once dominated by European concepts and production, the environment is definitely changing. Based on South African expertise, especially regarding ethnic hair care, Luzi has developed an appealing and growing fragrance range inspired by European trends yet specific to Africa in scent direction. This has been orchestrated carefully to maintain modern profiles which are IFRA compliant, meeting European regulatory standards.’

Owen, like many others in the business of fragrances, credits Europe as the driver of growing regulatory requirements in the fragrance industry. ‘Hypo-allergenic compliance (2003/15/EC & VKos 26 Regulated Fragrance Allergens) is the order of the day for personal care products. More recently, bio-degradable formulating in household products is seeing the possibility of becoming more and more regulated,’ he comments. ‘At O6 Agencies we benefit immensely from the fact that Luzi is at the forefront of developing fragrance ranges that are compliant. In many cases, a specific fragrance is available in its standard form and as a hypo-allergenic variant.’

Packaging performance

Since 2004 Khaya International Packaging has been proud to be the sole agency in South Africa for Majesty Dispensing Systems, one of the world’s largest and most respected producers of aerosol valves, dispensing pumps and mist sprayers. The Khaya team is especially excited to welcome Peihui Liang, Majesty Dispensing Systems’ owner and Wise Huang, company sales director to South Africa at the end of November this year.

The focus of the visit to South Africa is to foster a better understanding of the country, its diverse group of people from different cultural backgrounds, and most importantly, the opportunities in business development.

Majesty Dispensing Systems was established in 1988 and currently employs 2 000 people. It has become China’s largest aerosol valve manufacturer, and is rated among the top three aerosol valve manufacturers worldwide with an annual production volume of 2.5 billion units out of a total global volume of 16 billion. The success of Majesty results from its excellent quality management system and its large number of fully automated production facilities housing 500 units of injection moulding machines. It is also home to one of the world’s most advanced stamping machines for valve mounting cup production. Majesty prides itself on its strong R&D focus, and with its own fully equipped workshop for mould-making, the company can develop custom made solutions to meet customers’ varied requirements.

Considering this immensely superior support, Khaya International Packaging continues to strive to exceed customers’ expectations in terms of delivery, service, quality and competitive price.

Treading lightly

To broaden its capacities in green chemistry, Symrise Scent & Care, a division of Symrise AG is opening a laboratory in Germany for the synthesis and catalysis of new molecules. Catalysis is a key technology for the design of environmentally benign processes with reduced energy consumption and waste production.

The decision to open the new laboratory was taken in an effort to advance Symrise’s strategic research focus in green chemistry.

Customers and consumers expect constantly available and high-quality products that are produced using environmentally compatible processes. Accordingly, Symrise focuses on backwards integration of its key raw materials and involves the principles of green chemistry.

In the laboratory, catalyst experts will develop chemical processes and optimise existing processes for aroma molecules. The key technology of the laboratory will be the application of heterogeneous catalysis to the design of continuously running processes.

For this purpose, the laboratory will be equipped with specially manufactured catalyst testing units, enabling catalyst screening, long-term stability tests and process-optimisation studies. These lab-scale plants will be entirely process controlled for continuous operation as well as batch experiments.

In addition, the laboratory will receive equipment for the preparation and modification of heterogeneous catalysts to build up a library of compounds and expertise. A technology shift made the spin-off of distinctive laboratory facilities necessary and forms the link between the development of new aroma molecules and the environmentally friendly production of these compounds.

The project is supported by European funding for regional development realised by the N-Bank Niedersachsen. The N-Bank project explicitly addresses green chemistry.

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