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Patent Pick: Unilever Takes Charge of Cleansing, Literally

Contact Author Rachel Grabenhofer
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Despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's dismissal of antibacterial soaps, according to Unilever inventors, the demand for antimicrobial cleansers is on the rise. Soap bars and cleansers are the preferred formats by consumers, and these products typically contain an oligodynamic metal such as silver, copper or zinc; silver being the most common choice.

These metals are effective against a variety of bacteria. However some metals, especially silver, are prone to destabilization due to high pH, heat and strong sunlight, which can cause darkening, agglomeration or even phase separation, under extreme conditions.

Since these materials are included at only ppm or ppb levels, it is imperative to preserve their activity. Thus, in a new patent application, Unilever inventors describe an approach for faster-acting, efficacious and stable antimicrobial products.

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Cleansing composition containing oligodynamic metal and efficacy-enhancing agent
U.S. Patent Application 20160362646
Publication date: Dec. 15, 2016
Assignee: CONOPCO, INC., D/B/A Unilever

According to this patent application, the inventors have determined that a polymer having a group including a site with one or more lone pairs of electrons enhances the antimicrobial efficacy of an oligodynamic metal.

Thus, in one aspect of the invention, disclosed is a cleansing composition including: a) a surfactant; b) an oligodynamic metal; c) a chelating agent; and d) a polymer having a group comprising a site having one or more lone pair of electrons; wherein, said surfactant (a) is soap.

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