Biocosmetic & Pharmaceutical


Many industries produce different types of organic waste that, due to their characterisation, could be turned  into high-value products with application in various biotechnological fields. Examples of which are Pharmacy and Cosmetics. Retrieving organic wastes also reduces the environmental impact and related treatment costs.

There are many examples of active cosmetic ingredients derived from fish, meat, dairy products or agronomic waste. These types of products are effective, economical and bio-sustainable, which is why they represent a valid alternative to the usual plant-derived extracts, more commonly adopted in cosmetic formulations.

Furthermore, if waste products come from organic farming, they are certainly an even more valuable source of safe extracts for cosmetics, as they are devoid of any residual pesticides or potentially toxic chemicals. “M Gabriella Colucci. Arterra Bioscience”


Thanks to the IKERA RD8 technology, doors have opened for the revalorisation of  agricultural by-products such as tangerine peel, orange, lemon, grape, coffee ground, residues left after olive oil production, known as alperujo, avocado skin, etc. These by-products can be used for the extraction of dyes and natural aromas.


Thermal energy is the main source of energy used which can be obtained from renewable energies such as CSP, MINI-CSP, FVT, biomass and residual heat as well as non-renewable energies.

The organic waste first goes into a tank in which we ensure the homogenisation of the waste.After which the waste continues through the IKERA RD8 physical reactor. Here only H2o evaporates and is then condensed and mineralised as needed. Alternatively, it can be directly disposed of due to the high quality of the water.

The solid part, free of pathogens and processed at room temperature, can be adjusted to a humidity as low as 0.2%. The by-product is now ready and available to be used as a base for the production of cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.


We have carried out viability studies into tomato skin, coffee remains, orange,  lemon and mandarin peels, plants such as taxus baccata, flowers and pomace among many others.

Readings of interest

Laufenberg G, Kunz B, Nystroem M. Transformation of vegetable waste into value added products: (A) the upgrading concept; (B) practical implementations. Bioresource Technology 87(2):167–198, 2003

Ferrentino G, Asaduzzaman M, Scampicchio MM. Current technologies and new insights for the recovery of high valuable compounds from fruits by-products. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr May 31, 2016

KBBE.2011.3.4-01 – BioWASTE – Novel biotechnological approaches for transforming industrial and/or municipal biowaste into bioproducts – SICA http://cordis.europa.eu/programme/rcn/16978_en.html

Barbulova A, Colucci G, Apone F. New trends in cosmetics: by-products of plant origin and their potential use as cosmetic active ingredients. Cosmetics 2:82-92, 2015

Mullen W, Nemzer B, Stalmach A, Ali S, Combet E. Polyphenolic and hydroxycinnamate contents of whole coffee fruits from China, India, and Mexico. Agric Food Chem 61(22):5298-309, 2013

Ribeiro da Silva LM, Teixeira de Figueiredo EA, Silva Ricardo NM, Pinto Vieira IG, Wilane de Figueiredo R, Brasil IM, Gomes CL. Quantification of bioactive compounds in pulps and by-products of tropical fruits from Brazil. Food Chem 143:398-404, 2014

Ilahy R, Piro G, Tlili I, Riahi A, Sihem R, Ouerghi I, Hdider C, Lenucci MS. Fractionate analysis of the phytochemical composition and antioxidant activities in advanced breeding lines of high-lycopene tomatoes. Food Funct 7(1):574-83, 2016

Del Valle M, Cámara M, Torija ME. Chemical characterization of tomato pomace. J Sci Food Agric 86: 1232–1236, 2006

Ledesma-Escobar CA, Luque de Castro MD. Coverage exploitation of by-products from the agrofood industry. In: Chemat F, Strube J, editors. Green extraction of natural products: theory and practice. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2015.

Kalogerakis N, Politi M, Foteinis S, Chatzisymeon E, Mantzavinos D. Recovery of antioxidants from olive mill wastewaters: a viable solution that promotes their overall sustainable management. J Environ Manage 128: 749-758, 2013
Frankel E, Bakhouche A, Lozano-Sánchez J, Segura-Carretero A, Fernández-

Gutiérrez A. Literature review on production process to obtain extra virgin olive oil enriched in bioactive compounds. Potential use of byproducts as alternative sources of polyphenols. J Agric Food Chem 61: 5179–5188, 2013

Rodis PS, Karathanos VT, Mantzavinou A. Partitioning of olive oil antioxidants between oil and water phases. J Agric Food Chem 50(3): 596-601, 2002

Kishikawa A, Ashour A, Zhu Q, Yasuda M, Ishikawa H, Shimizu K. Multiple Biological Effects of Olive Oil By-products such as Leaves, Stems, Flowers, Olive Milled Waste, Fruit Pulp, and Seeds of the Olive Plant on Skin. Phytother Res 29(6):877-86, 2015

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/
Santos CM, Dweck J, Viotto RS, Rosa AH, de Morais LC. Application of orange peel waste in the production of solid biofuels and biosorbents. Bioresour Technol 196:469-79, 2015

Aghel N, Ramezani Z, Beiranvand S. Hesperidin from Citrus sinensis cultivated in Dezful, Iran. Pak J Biol Sci 11(20):2451-3, 2008

Kuroyanagi M, Ishii H, Kawahara N, Sugimoto H, Yamada H, Okihara K, Shirota O. Flavonoid glycosides and limonoids from Citrus molasses. J Nat Med 62(1):107-11, 2008

Rakholiya K, Kaneria M, Chanda S. Inhibition of microbial pathogens using fruit and vegetable peel extracts. Int J Food Sci Nutr 65(6):733-9, 2014
Kim SS, Lee JA, Kim JY, Lee NH, Hyun CG. Citrus peel wastes as functional materials for cosmeceuticals. J Appl Biol Chem 51(1):7–12, 2008

Alessio PA, Mirshahi M, Bisson JF, Bene MC. Skin repair properties of d-Limonene and perillyl alcohol in murine models. Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem 13(1):29-35, 2014.