During his doctoral research at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), he identified the main disease-causing microorganisms in cocoa (Theobroma cocoa L) chemist in Brazil Fabio Neves dos Santos During visits to farms in the Ilhéus region of Bahia, he observed that during the extraction of almonds, which are used as raw materials for chocolate, a liquid is obtained by hand pressing the pulp of the fruit, most of which is thrown away as agricultural waste.
“A very small portion of this very sweet-tasting liquid, therefore called cocoa honey, is consumed as a beverage in regions such as southern Bahia, the country’s largest fruit producer. But most of it is not used,” Santos said.
When analyzing the liquid from cocoa, which is not very viscous, containing a large amount of sugar and reducing substances such as fructose and sucrose, the researcher evaluated that the product has antioxidant activity due to dietary as well as bioactive organic compounds. fibers, high levels of vitamin C and essential minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, manganese and zinc. Therefore, it will have the potential to be used as an ingredient in food and cosmetic products.
Based on this finding, Santos founded the Cacaus Bio Cosmetics initiative to develop a new generation of cosmetics with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties associated with cocoa honey.
through a project supported fur Innovative Research Program in Small Business (PIPE), the startup developed a face cream and moisturizing body lotion based on input.
“Test results in a laboratory settingnoted that both cocoa honey and cosmetics containing this raw material, made in a cellular model, do not cause skin irritation. They also promoted cellular regeneration,” says Santos. Research for Innovation.
The researcher now plans to gather more resources to initiate clinical testing of the products to prove the ingredient’s antioxidant and regenerative properties on the skin, along with obtaining approval from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) for the use of the following claims. products based on it, for example, slow down the aging of the skin.
But before that, the enterprise should already start the production and commercialization of products made with cocoa as class 1, as it is classified by Anvisa cosmetics as having essential properties that do not need to be proven initially and do not require detailed information about it. product mode and usage restrictions, such as perfumes, lotions and creams without photoprotective effects.
“We have already proven that the products are safe and therefore can be marketed as grade 1. We have also applied for patents for formulations and will outsource production to get them to market and start selling faster. and commercialize them e-commerce”, says Santos.
The Entrepreneur was one of five selected for the 2022 edition of the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship Program (LIFE), venceu o Simulation Game no Domestic Activity do LIF no Brasil.
The Simulation Game is a business operations simulation competition through a software called SimVenture Evolution that simulates all the parameters of the development of a technology in the real world, such as research and development (R&D), production, sales, marketing and financing. among others.
Presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) with the support of the Newton Fund, LIF aims to empower emerging leaders who develop engineering-based innovations with the potential to contribute to the economic and social development of their home countries.
The initiative targets researchers from RAE partner countries who are in the process of developing a commercialization plan for their innovations.
Selected entrepreneurs participate in a comprehensive training period in the UK where they can access expert advisors and opportunities. networking International.
In the short term, they develop a commercialization plan for their innovation with the support of the programme. In the long run, they have access to an international network of innovators and mentors to realize their business plans.
“Joining LIF will be crucial and prudent to launch the product, which is the current phase of our project. Through the program, I gain access to a network of consultants that enables us to move forward with the commercialization plan”, says Santos.
A group of 70 researchers from ten countries was selected for this year’s edition of the programme. In Brazil, FAPESP is responsible for the selection of participants.
“The main selection criterion for participation in the program is the quality of applications. Empty quotas of countries are not filled with the quota system. Out of all submissions from each participating country, we selected five,” explains Gaelle Elisha, director of the entrepreneurship development program at the Royal Academy of Engineering.
The other four Brazilian representatives selected for the current edition of the programme, Marina Trevelin Souzadeveloping a new bioactive glass that can accelerate cell proliferation and cause faster healing of damaged tissue; Thomaz Augusto Guisard Restivousing metallic diamonds and derived products to create building materials with better performance, reasonable costs, and less environmental impact; Gustavo de SouzaProducing innovative, biodegradable packaging that eliminates the need for multi-layered plastic materials without compromising the shelf life of foods; and Marzieh KadyravIt produces high-performance materials made from natural bamboo, using a zero waste process to address construction-related environmental concerns.