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Israeli company Citramed has been developing a new complex of compounds from grapefruit peel to inhibit the growth of a wide range of bacteria, fungi and yeast naturally. According to reports, the materials offer a natural and nontoxic way to keep beauty and health products fresh, healthy and, as consumers are demanding, paraben-free. According to a report by the Israeli Industry Center for R&D, the citrus extract, CPE, is a natural derivative of the citrus plant and is produced by a unique biotechnological process that does not involve synthetic raw materials. The resulting extract reacts against microorganisms that affect humans and plants.
The company has filed a patent for more than 80 possible uses, reports news agency Israeli 21C. Applications are based on the active ingredient CPE. The company is negotiating with top cosmetics companies around the world and, theoretically, the product could be ready by the end of the year. It has been shown that the extract can be developed for commercial purposes on an industrial scale and the company hopes to first apply the compound in both the cosmetics and food industry, reports Israeli 21C.
In an industry searching for all natural preservatives to meet consumer demand for "paraben-free" while ethically meeting the need to comply with safety and regulatory standards, this material could be one of the few current all natural solutions.
Citramed is based in Kibbutz Gat, near Kiriat Gat. Founded in 2003 out of the Ashkelon Technological Industries incubator, the company's product joins several other Israeli-made natural extracts that aim to improve the health of individuals worldwide. According to Israeli 21C, other projects in the incubator include Lycomato's tomato-based additive to protect against sunburn naturally (from within), and Tel Aviv University's Prof. Michael Ovadia, whose cinnamon extract invention reportedly works as a natural antiviral.