Sugar mills to now manufacture “anti ageing cream”

ChiniMandi Delhi: After crushing the sugarcane & extracting the juice, about 30-32% of the fibrous material is obtained from the sugar factories known as bagasse used mostly as a fuel for power generation. With the growing c availability of power through non-conventional energy resources and through other modes, the bagasse-based power generation has taken a back seat as many states of India are not very keen to sign power purchase agreements with sugar industry. This is because of the availability of power from non-conventional energy resources at cheaper rates (INR. 2.44 per unit) as compared to power tariffs desired by sugar factories (about INR. 4.50 per unit) for bagasse-based power generation and export to national grid.

Thus, the utilization of this bagasse to produce higher value products is a profound opportunity to improve the sustainability and economic profitability of processing operations. Its transformation into biodegradable next generation cosmetic ingredients is one possibility for its valorization. Keeping this in view & to provide an option for utilization of bagasse giving value addition, the institute worked & developed a technology for producing green cosmetic ingredients from bagasse.

Influenced by the health trend, a growing number of consumers demand healthier cosmetics that will be gentle on the skin and minimize the harm to the environment. Thus, the renewable cosmetic industry is rapidly evolving, with the growing consumer’s demand and quality requirements for end-user products. Organic beauty market is projected to reach $25.11 billion in terms of value, by 2025. Motivated by favorable demand, hundreds and thousands of companies and suppliers are now producing and selling cosmetic products which they claim are ‘green’ and better for the user and the environment.

The developed process basically involves selective glycosylation of pentosans fraction of bagasse with diketones followed by hydrogenation under mild conditions. The purification steps were cheap and efficient improving the prospects for producing the chemicals on a large scale. Elaborating details of the work done, Tushar Mishra, Research Fellow informed that the synthesized molecule is an active ingredient and is known to show skin antiaging properties by reducing wrinkle lines and improving skin hydration. Also, it is present in various Skin anti aging cosmetic products sold by various multinational companies across the globe.

After a year long experiment carried out in the Organic Chemistry division, results confirmed yield of such cosmetic ingredients to the extent of 5-6 % w/w of bagasse and thus for making such green cosmetic ingredient, the raw material cost shall be approx Rs.35-40/- per kg only. However, more experiments shall be carried out during crushing season 2019-20 to validate the results but for sure that production cost shall be very competitive and in-fact lower, asserted Dr. V.P. Srivastava, Asstt. Prof. Organic Chemistry.

In conversation with ChiniMandi.com, Prof. Narendra Mohan, Director, National Sugar Institute, Kanpur said, “The technology will prove to be milestone for the sugar industry worldwide paving way for using bagasse in an innovative manner earning value addition. Such value additions are required for sustainability of the sugar industry, particularly, keeping in view the up and down of the sugar prices.”

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