First ingredient! How?

tracingrobotstracingrobots Member
edited March 2020 in Formulating
I've been pondering a formulation by a company that makes creams. Question is, how is barley extract juice their first ingredient if the yields of Barley extract  are at best 30%?

this is part of the ingredients list:

Hordeum Vulgare Leaf Juice*, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Jojoba Esters, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Linoleic Acid, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Propanediol, 

Even is they added 75% Barley extract juice that gives a final concentration close to 22.5% (0.75x.0.3) percent and the solvent which is water or glycerin would be at 52.5% (0.75x0.70).

So in essence, Glycerin or water would be the first ingredient not Barley Juice

Please correct me if I'm off. I'm trying to make barley extract my first ingredient but the yields defy that. Adding barley powder directly at more than 10% would make the lotion slushy and grainy.



  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Their ingredient list is wrong. That often happens with small companies. 
  • AgateAgate Member
    edited March 2020
    I wouldn't call Tata Harper small at an estimated revenue of $60m per year.
    Is it possible that they used some sort of processed (filtered, centrifuged, pasteurized...?) barley leaf juice to replace some of the water? The cream does appear to be brownish. Further down the list I can see Sodium anisate, Sodium levulinate, Sodium P-Anisic Acid, Leuconostoc ferment filtrate, Magnolia officinalis bark extract and "Aroma", maybe Natipide? @Perry do you think those ingredients have the potential to provide sufficient preservation to allow for some barley leaf juice, or is that just never going to work?
    On the other hand, Aqua/Water/Eau surely isn't right either? I find it disappointing that companies like Tata Harper can get away with mislabelling their products.
  • If the yields of Barley are 30%, a barley extract juice solution centrifuged will mainly remove floating debris. The proteins and nutrients, I don't think, could be concentrated further without using organic solvents that are deemed toxic, like acetone.

    So my guess is that they are not macerating then precipitating proteins/nutrients. So it brings us back to the final output being ~30% and have that at the number 1 spot on the list.

    aqua/water/eau is a common way of stating water for different countries.

    Back to Barley extraction methods, filtered nor pasteurization would increase the concentration. Unless there's slow heating and evaporation of the water that will bring up the extract concentration. And if it's glycerin they are using as the solvent, not sure how that is reduced.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Agate - $60 million is not large compared to companies like P&G ($~22 billion), L'Oreal (~$30 billion), and Unilever (~$25 billion). And that is just their cosmetic product sales.  I would call Tata Harper small. 

    The water labeling is not exactly correct however it is a common practice among smaller companies when they don't make enough product. So some of their product will be sold in both the US and Internationally.  Big companies make batches for the US & batches for EU and will use the appropriate labeling for where they sell it. 

    There are many companies who mistakenly label their products with "juices" when they should be labeled as water + extract. It's a shifty business practice but one that smaller companies can get away with (at least for a while).

    I'm sure the hope for a company like Tata Harper is to build the brand to a certain size, ignoring common cosmetic industry rules, and hoping they'll get bought by a big company. Then the big company, who follow the rules, will have to go through & get rid of all the dubious claims and other shifty practices and hope that the brand continues to thrive. Look at Drunk Elephant. They make a big deal about their "clean" products & now that they got bought by a big company clean is not so important.

    No, I do not believe that their preservative system will be effective. But it's a gamble for them. If they can get it to pass a preservative efficacy test, that will be enough to ship the product. They can show the data to the FDA if they get inspected. If the product goes bad in the marketplace, unless it hurts someone most consumers will just throw it away & not mention it. Smaller companies can get away with this kind of things at least for a little while. Bigger companies would get sued.
  • AgateAgate Member
    @tracingrobots I was thinking about how they could achieve not a more concentrated, but a less concentrated barley juice, which is as close to water as possible so it doesn't make preservation impossible at such a high percentage.

    @Perry Thank you for your thoughts on this. Interesting about the "international" water declaration being common practice, it's the first time I've seen it but it does seem like a fairly harmless and sensible transgression. As for the business model you described, I oscillate between admiration and disgust.
    I'm particularly surprised (and slightly worried) by the notion that a product may pass a PET but is still likely to have some degree of failure with customers. I was hoping microbiological safety would be as simple as passing a PET, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense that there can still be many points of failure after that. How reliable do you find a passed PET in practice? Do you set higher standards for your formulations than the minimum legal requirements (for example rejecting formulas which passed but only just scraped by)?
  • @Agata @Perry the addition of Dehydroacetic Acid, which is a strong low toxicity preservative will further help her formula. She's using leucidal and aspen bark which are nontoxic preservatives that have gone through extensive challenge tests and work. We've used them and in combination are robust.

    So using low percent extracts or high would be viable with the above trio or duo preservatives.

    @perry is that drunk elephant interview in pdf somewhere? Shieshido (sp) drunk elephants new owner is not a promoter of nontoxic ingredients. So not surprised by her flipping. Yes, nontoxic products exist so the notion of saying clean is out is ridiculous. 
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