Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana have developed an ecofriendly microbead alternative using soy-based technology.
Graduates Samuel Lewis, Steve Ferris, Alison Switzer and Ryan Pendergast began working on SoyFoliate after realising the beauty industry’s need for an alternative to the plastic beads.
Lewis said: “Our environmentally friendly soy microbeads are a highly marketable alternative to use in personal care products. Soy has several biodegradable and hydrophilic properties that make it a great substitute to plastic microbeads.
“Plastic beads do not absorb water, and soy can over time. To mitigate the problem, we mixed our beads with small amounts of oil to prevent water from saturating the beads and decreasing their rigid properties.”
The team plan to move forward with prototyping, stability testing and business development of their technology, with hopes to license a finalised formulation to beauty companies in the future.