Naturally Improving Sensorial Attributes with Corn Starch


In the past decade, the demand for natural products has grown at an alarming rate. To answer this demand, formulators must create products that comply with natural claims while providing desired sensorial attributes. Both these goals can be accomplished with the inclusion of natural polymers from corn starch.

The Farmal line of natural polymers, hydrolyzed natural polymers and modified natural polymers form Corn Products International allows formulators to add sensorial benefits to their natural formulations.

Farmal CS 3757 (INCI: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch) is an unmodified (native) starch extracted from the corn kernel using proprietary corn wet milling technology. It is a versatile ingredient capable of acting as a bulking agent, moisture absorber and actives carrier suitable for a variety of personal care applications—naturally.

A Natural, Low-cost Formulation Substitution

Natural polymers derived from corn starch allow formulators to reach a balance between performance and care for the environment. Starch is a natural, biodegradable, sustainable and nonirritating carrier for actives in many formulations. Additionally, corn starch has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory benefits, soothing itchy skin and calming both rashes and burns.

Zea mays (corn) starch allows for a natural product claim and provides sensorial benefits at a lower cost than modified starches. This makes Zea mays (corn) starch an efficacious replacement in body/baby dusting and topical powders, cream powder, lotions, skin and hair masks, loose and compact makeup and bath salts. It may also replace talc mica, and fumed silica in powder cosmetic products.

Versatile Sensory Modifier

Sensory screening indicates that Zea mays (corn) starch provides a unique powdery- dry, smooth skin after feel, helps to control immediate and residual shine and oiliness, and reduces perceivable tackiness/stickiness. These features are beneficial in compact makeup applications as well as lotions and creams.

Additionally, these functions are beneficial to individuals with oily skin, as Zea mays (corn) starch reduces oil and helps retain the integrity of the product, particularly in makeup applications. The sensorial attributes of Zea mays (corn) starch are shown in Figure 1.

Replacing Talc in Personal Care Formulations

Zea mays (corn) starch can replace talc in personal care formulations. It offers improved oil and moisture absorbency when compared to talc in skin lotion formulations (below 3%). Because of its botanical nature, it is safe for topical use in baby powder products. In addition, since starch "rolls" as it moves over the skin, there is a perceivably better skin smoothness with Zea mays (corn) starch over talc.

Zea mays (corn) starch is compatible with a wide variety of other personal care ingredients. Depending on the application, the level of starch added can range from 1–99%. In lotions, 0.5–3% corn starch is incorporated to reduce tack and oiliness, whereas the starch is formulated up to 30% in cream to powder formulations and up to 99% in topical body powders.

Corn Products International Inc., one of the world's leading providers of refined, agriculturally based ingredients, has developed a portfolio of personal care ingredients called Farmal. The Farmal line of high-quality, renewable and sustainable vegetable-based ingredients helps formulators create products with distinct characteristics for hair care, skin care and more—with a natural touch.


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