PhytoCellTec beauty ingredient gains positive EFSA opinion as novel food

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

PhytoCellTec beauty ingredient gains positive EFSA opinion as novel food

Related tags Efsa Novel foods beauty bioactives European food safety authority

Mibelle Biochemistry’s PhytoCellTec apple-derived beauty ingredient ‘Malus Domestica’ (Md Nu) has gained EFSA approval as a novel food ingredient, enabling its distribution across Europe for use within food supplements.

The recent publication​ by EFSA stated: “The Panel concludes that the NF, an apple fruit cell culture biomass, is safe under the proposed conditions of use.”

The Swiss-based cosmetic ingredient supplier​, belonging to Switzerland’s largest relater Migros, develops bioactives for the nutraceutical and food industries.

Derived from an edible Swiss apple variety, Uttwiler Spätlauber, the novel ingredient was developed through the company’s in-house callus cell culture technology enabling for its sustainable production. Requiring only a small piece of the apple, the identified stem cells are then grown on a large-scale.

Trees producing the variety are classed as endangered by the Swiss National Action Plan for the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture (NAP-PGREL), with only a few currently left.

The powdered, water-soluble Md Nu active ingredient has been shown through in-house studies​ to promote vitality and longevity of skin stem cells, protecting against environmental stress, and preventing against premature aging.

Kristi Serena, Commercial Director USA at Mibelle Biochemistry, told NutraIngredients: “This apple variety stands out because of the ability to maintain its freshness and not to shrivel during storage over the winter months compared to other commercially used apple varieties.

“Taking PhytoCellTec Md Nu improves skin parameters, such as density, elasticity and firmness significantly compared to initial condition. It also has the ability to support the vitality of skin stem cells, keeping them active and healthy, as they naturally diminish during the aging process,” she added.

Bioactives for beauty

The new ingredient adds to the company’s existing portfolio of ingredients developed through PhytoCellTec for the beauty category, including ‘Alp Rose’ based on stem cells of alpine rose leaves and Solar Vitis from the Gamay Teinturier Fréaux grape stem cells.

Serena emphasised that plant bioactives offer a novel alternative to beauty products within a saturated market.

“The ingredient allows a new anti-aging and skin beauty approach different to other well-established ingredients such as collagen peptides, polyphenols, and vitamins. Due to the absence of antioxidant components in this apple biomass, an alternative, epigenetic mechanism with signalling molecules may be responsible for this anti-aging effect. This can be proteins, peptides, or non-coding RNA.

“We are observing a continuous increasing interest in natural bioactives. Consumers today are more likely to question the source of ingredients. Especially current trending lifestyle such as veganism, all natural, plant-based etc have potentially increased the demand for plant-based bioactives,” she added.

Plant to skin stem cells

In-house studies conducted by Mibelle Biochemistry treated cultures of epidermal stem cells with differing concentrations of the Md Nu ingredient. It was observed that the colony-forming efficiency (CFE) of stems improved with the concentration, with 0.04% of Md Nu resulting in around a 90% increase in CFE compared to the control.

It was also noted that when Md Nu was added to “old” stem cells unable to multiple and form epidermal tissue, the cells could still generate a stratified epidermis after treatment. These formed epidermal stem cells were able to retain their vitality for a longer period whilst being able to form new tissue.

Furthermore, in a human clinical trial conducted by Mibelle, in 20 subjects aged 37 to 64, there was a significant reduction in wrinkles in all subjects after the application of Md Nu to the crow’s feet area for a period of 28 days.

As well as developing and producing novel cosmetic active ingredients, the Mibelle group also fulfil customer requests in-house, such as CM-Glucan production, lipsome- and nanoemulsion technologies, and peptide design.

They also have an extensive food ingredient portfolio, including Enduberry Nu, with evidence​ highlighting its ability to enhance endurance and physical performance through the reduction of exercise-induced oxidative stress.

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