Surfactants are compounds that are mainly used to emulsify fats and oils. Thus, the compounds form a crucial and active ingredient in several cleaning products. However, most surfactants are typically composed of harmful petroleum. This component may cause allergies or skin irritation after coming into contact with skin.
As an alternative to these chemicals, scientists are now conducting widespread research on bacteria-based active agents or bio-surfactants. Researchers from University of Portsmouth and Teesside University have already started exploring new horizons in this sector, especially from a commercial perspective.
Advantageous Bio-Surfactants Properties Make Them Suitable for Commercial Products
Dr. Pattanathu Rahman and Dr. Claudio Angione are two key researchers expected to unravel the commercial potential of bio-surfactants. Dr. Rahman belongs to the Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. Whereas Dr. Claudio Angione comes from the Teesside University.
Both researchers are of the opinion that bio-surfactants might completely replace the hazardous petroleum-based surfactants existing in daily-used products. This is mainly due to the compounds having certain microbial properties. These properties could help prevent body odor caused by bacteria thriving on skin. A key area where research is being focused involves incorporating bio-surfactants into deodorants to fight unpleasant odors. In this manner, growth of skin bacteria could be controlled with ease.
The use of bio-surfactants as an active agent in cosmetics has already gained popularity. In future, frequent experiments on unravelling metabolic capabilities of bio-surfactants would be carried out. Researchers are also aiming at kick-starting collaborations between different industrial bigwigs and other organization to improve popularity of these compounds.