23 May 2019

Authenticating botanical extracts for Herbal Essences bio:renew

Our Commercial Phytochemistry Unit provides authentication services to partners around the world. Today, the new Herbal Essences bio:renew range with botanical extracts authenticated by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has launched in the UK.

By Katie Avis-Riordan

Herbal Essences and RBG Kew range

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is teaming up with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to use our world-class scientific knowledge and expertise to identify and authenticate key botanical ingredients in the new Herbal Essences bio:renew range.

Why have we partnered with Procter & Gamble on Herbal Essences bio:renew?

We're passionate about promoting the incredible benefits that plants have to offer, and bringing our science to the global stage through this collaboration.

This commercial partnership helps support and fund our vital plant science and conservation work through the income it will generate. Through our science, we also aim to support local communities across the globe through the sustainable use of plants and fungi.

Initially partnering to develop the Herbal Essences bio:renew range, we will continue working with P&G to help develop other hair and beauty products.

This venture demonstrates that our expertise and skills in botanical science are what makes us a trusted, world-leading authority on plants and fungi.

How is the authentication carried out?

Authentication is completed by a team in our Commercial Phytochemistry Unit here at Kew, who work on our commercially-focused phytochemistry projects.

By providing the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew stamp of approval, our team show that they have authenticated the key plant-derived ingredient histidine – a natural antioxidant – in the Herbal Essences bio:renew products.

This process involves confirming that the species of plant used to make the botanical extract is what it is labelled as, plus making sure that the extract is of high enough quality to support the claims that the ingredient in Herbal Essences bio:renew makes an impact on your hair.

To accurately identify the plant ingredient, our scientists use botanical 'fingerprinting'. They compare extracts from Kew’s extensive collections to the plant extracts used in the Herbal Essences bio:renew range to find a botanical match. These findings are then reported to scientists at P&G.

Watch the video below to find out more about the Kew authentication process.

Why we work with corporate partners

Commercial partnerships are a great way to show how important Kew research and plant science are for everyday life.

With our unique expertise and reputation as a leader in global plant science, we can validate claims made by companies on the benefits and ingredients in their products.

Sharing the value and power of plants and fungi is key to our mission to unlock the potential of plants and fungi, through scientific discovery and research.

Commercially-funded projects like these allow Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to continue its important scientific research and conservation work through partnerships in 110 countries worldwide.

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