29 Sep 2022
An avocado first: seeds to replace microplastics in cosmetics
For the first time ground avocado seeds are being used in beauty products replacing the now banned and environmentally harmful plastic micro-beads previously used. After three years of research, development and product testing, Westfalia Fruit’s business in the UK is supplying the ground avocado seeds to the premium beauty brand Dr. Craft for use as a part of a range of cosmetics.
Johnathan Sutton, Group Safety & Environmental Executive at Westfalia Fruit has been working closely with Dr. Craft and its academic arm Keracol to ensure the use of avocado stones meet all the stringent safety requirements demanded of an ingredient in beauty products. “The project has involved several UK universities, including Leeds and Kingston, to verify and validate the use of avocado seeds. The extraction process is very complex, but with perseverance a perfect particle size and process was discovered to work within a cosmetic body scrub as the replacement for microbeads.”
Currently, avocado waste components including skins and stones are used in low value anaerobic digestors. The sustainable inclusion in beauty and cosmetics opens a new, higher value alternative in-line with our history of identifying, implementing and pioneering, innovative and industry leading methods to reduce inputs, waste and reinforces our commitment to protecting the health of the environment in which we operate, in the most sustainable way possible.
“The Dr. Craft brand is founded on scientific knowledge and expertise, using nature as our inspiration,” said Professor Richard Blackburn, Co-Founder & Director of Keracol and the brand Dr. Craft. “With a focus on green chemistry, our previous research looked at extracts from wine industry grape waste and citrus peels in a number of different products, but the more we studied avocados the more interesting and exciting it became.”
The new Avocado Dr. Craft range has demonstrated proof of concept that the versatile fruit can be used not only in food but also as a replacement for microplastics within cosmetics, with a plethora of other workstreams in the process of development for use within a wide range of industries.
“It’s been an exciting to journey to be on,” said Graham Young, Global Category Management Executive at Westfalia Fruit. “These are not overnight developments, however through extensive research, experimentation and demonstration and through the correlation and application of scientific knowledge we are proving that much is possible coupled with partnering with likeminded organisations. I do like to think of it as being an example of good in the industry and that's our purpose as a company, to do good,” he concluded.
The new Dr Craft body scrub using avocado seeds as the exfoliant range will launch in Quarter 3 2022, with additional products currently being developed. Dr. Craft is available online and in premium UK and European retailers.
Notes for editors
About Westfalia Fruit
The multinational Westfalia Fruit Group is a leading supplier of fresh and processed produce to international markets, offering a diverse range of quality fruit and related products via its vertically integrated supply chain. Founded over 70 years ago on guiding environmental, social, governance & sustainability principles. These practices, premised on the legacy of Dr Hans Merensky are at the heart of all that is done by the Group – “To Do Good”, – of which continue to underpin our approach today.
Today, operating in 16 countries spread over 5 continents, the Westfalia Fruit Group prides itself on advancing sustainable agricultural practices and being a responsible corporate citizen within the communities in which it operates.
As a frontrunner in the avocado industry, Westfalia grows, sources, ripens, packs, processes, and markets accredited avocados across the globe throughout the year. Value-added products include avocado oil, low-preservative guacamole, frozen avocado, and dried fruit.
Westfalia grows fruit in all major origins in the Americas and Africa and sources from partner orchards, giving the Group the most diverse avocado-growing footprint in the world. Westfalia’s dynamic and integrated supply chain from research to the consumer benefits all stakeholders. The Group’s research division, Westfalia Technological Services, is the world’s largest privately funded subtropical fruit research unit. Its dedicated team of scientists and technicians focus on varietal development, innovation, and environmental matters, and provides a pivotal role in defining the future of the global avocado industry.
A supplier of choice to retail, wholesale, and food-service customers, Westfalia operates sales offices in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, southern Africa, and Asia. Fruit is packed in diverse formats and expertly ripened to deliver optimal eating quality. For more information visit www.westfaliafruit.com.