Preserving Formulations Containing Alkyl Polyglucosides

The June 2008 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine featured an article from Cognis on the mildness of alkyl polyglucoside (APG) surfactants. The article stimulated the following comment from a reader: “Sugar-based ingredients are better sources of nutrients than fatty-based ingredients. Doesn’t a surfactant made of water and sugar present an especially attractive growth medium for microorganisms? Does that mean APGs require special preservation measures in formulations, and if so how would that challenge be met in an Ecocert setting?”

Formulations in which APGs are incorporated do not require special preservatives beyond what already are required by the rest of the ingredients, according to Barry Salka, who served as technical manager at Cognis for 23 years and currently is performing similar duties at Surfactants Inc.

“A shampoo without APGs and a shampoo with APGs would need the same kind of preservation,” Salka told C&T magazine.

Ken Klein, president of Cosmetech, agrees. “Glucosides are no more difficult to preserve than other surfactants that are basically 30% solutions in water,” Klein said. How are APGs preserved? Some answers to this question are surveyed here.

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