Croda International has announced the acquisition of IRB (Istituto di Ricerche Biotecnologiche), an Italian-based company that entered the active ingredients market in 2009 and has become the world leader in the emerging market of plant cell culture actives both in personal care and health care. “IRB has a unique position in the market with the widest range of plant cell lines characterized by specific markers and the ability to manufacture titrated plant extracts,” explained Croda in a release.

IRB has developed an exclusive, safe, sustainable and eco-friendly, biotech method for sourcing non-GMO plant stem cell ingredients. Starting from a leaf, a flower or a seed, only a small amount of plant tissue is required to find specific active substances. The IRB process thus allows rare or endangered species to be used. Comparative data with conventional agriculture shows a 99.9% decrease in water consumption, negligible soil occupation with the total absence of pesticides or other contaminants.

In this way the IRB process surpasses all aspects associated with traditional botanical active ingredients, with almost unlimited availability through a sustainable production, guaranteed purity, as a result of the precise selection of those cells that produce more of a particular active ingredient, and avoiding any type of pollutant, since plant stem cells are grown in a sterile and protected environment, without pesticides, heavy metals or aflatoxines. Ingredients are also GMO free, as the DNA of plant cells remains intact.

Plant cell culture biotechnology is the leading, new technology for delivering proven activity as well as true sustainability,” commented Croda.

Croda, will add IRB products to its Sederma brand product portfolio. “In combination with the world leading Sederma expertise in efficacy testing and proven ingredient functionality, the focus will be to rapidly accelerate developing the technology in the Personal Care and Health Care markets.