Óscar Benito has recently rejoined our group after a 7 month stay in FeyeCon Development & Implementation (Netherlands) as part of the WineSense project. During this time he worked on the product development based on quercetin aqueous microdispersions. The selected product was a booster of quercetin (a cosmetic product highly concentrated in the active principle, quercetin in this case). The work was divided in three stages:
- Development of the aqueous microdispersion using the Pressurized Emulsions Technology. The experimental set-up was completed and different trials were carried out in order to find the optimal experimental conditions and best carrier material that led to high encapsulation efficiencies and high quercetin concentrations in the microdispersion. Soy lecithin was selected as the best carrier material.
- Economic evaluation of the microdispersion formation process, based on the calculations of the fixed and operational costs. This calculations were useful to calculate the production cost per kilogram of the quercetin microdispersion.
- Market studies. It was evaluated if there were any other quercetin cosmetic products in the market and what the selling prices were.
Óscar also did some tests related to supercritical CO2 drying using FeyeCon’s technology and expertise. The microdispersion formed was dried and the powder obtained has been sent to the University of Valladolid to be characterized in terms of quercetin loading. It was also evaluated how the drying conditions influenced the final performance of the formed particles.
This secondment was a useful experience as it was possible to learn about all the stages behind the development of a potentially marketable cosmetic product, from the application of the basic research to the economic studies. For this particular product, the existing technology at the University of Valladolid (the pressurized emulsions plant; a similar unit was built in FeyeCon) and FeyeCon’s criteria for the product development were used.