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Antimicrobial Emulsification Agent for Personal Care, Pharmaceutical, and Food Products

Sugar esters have multiple common uses in fields diverse as personal care and cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. The U.S. personal care industry alone generates $50 billion in annual sales revenue. With the discovery of a novel lactose-derived ester, Utah State University (USU) now introduces an exciting new player to the field of sugar esters. Researchers at USU have successfully developed a method of synthesizing and purifying novel lactose esters. The novel lactose esters are useful as emulsifying and microbial inhibitory agents. Uses as emulsifiers may include personal care products as well as food products. Additionally, the use of lactose esters as microbial inhibitory agents may be applied in medical, personal care, or food products to protect against harmful microorganisms. The esters are synthesized from lactose, a readily available and cost-effective starting material, using a method that is also patent pending. USU is seeking a commercial partner interested in exploiting the potential of the novel lactose esters.
Features and Benefits
  • Personal care
    • Skin care
    • Body cleansers
    • Cosmetics
    • Antimicrobial lotions
  • Food industry
    • Candy emulsification
    • Preservatives
    • Aeration
    • Protein protection
  • Emulsification of oil-in-water and water-in-oil (o/w) mixtures, providing superior smoothness and moisture retention in skin care products
  • Demonstrated to be microbial inhibitory , for food preservation or sanitizing lotions
  • Immobilized lipase synthesis, for commercial production
  • Prepared from affordable starting material, for cost competitiveness
Novel lactose esters synthesized from lactose, using any of four different immobilized lipases in three different organic solvents, and demonstrating usefulness as emulsification agents and antimicrobial agents.
Development Stage

A novel lactose ester has been synthesized and purified, and demonstrated to have antimicrobial activity.

GRAS approval may be needed for food product uses

US Patent Pending
Joe Christison
Senior Commercialization Associate
Life Sciences
(435) 797-9614
Reference: W08047