Pandanus conoideus – the red fruit from the jungle for highly demanding skincare products
Portrait of the plant: Pandanus conoideus – the red fruit from the jungle for highly demanding skincare products
The name Pandanus refers to the plant genus of the pandans, better known as screw pine. Screw pine species grow as evergreen, tree or bush-shaped perennials. The genus Pandanus comprises more than 600 species which are native to the warmer countries of the eastern half of the southern hemisphere; most of them are found on the islands of the Indian Ocean.
One of the plant species in this family is called Pandanus conoideus. The Pandanus conoideus trees are native to the highlands and along coastal stretches of New Guinea. In their own languages, the local population calls the plant Buah Merah, Marita or Kuansu – which basically means “red fruit.” It grows as an evergreen, tree-shaped plant and can attain heights of up to 17 metres. It begins to branch out from the height of 5 to 8 metres above ground level. In view of those dimensions it is no surprise that the fruit can be up to 1 meter long. The multiple fruit has an elliptical shape with rounded off, blunt ends. It is surrounded and protected by carpels and has a diameter ranging from 10 to 15 cm. The weight of the pandan fruit ranges from about 2 to 3 kg. When ripe it is shiny and light-to-dark red in colour.
Screw palm Pandanus conoideus with fruit.
Breaking open the multiple fruit reveals a colourless interior composed primarily of light coloured cellulose, in which the red, oily fruit scales take the form of small oil-soaked pins. This component of the fruit is used for the extraction.
Industrial preparation of the drug
The plants for our Pandanus extract come from the highlands of the Indonesian part of New Guinea, where an adequate supply occurs naturally. After manual harvest, the large fruits are flown out of the highlands in cargo planes. In the lowlands, the fruit pins are then carefully removed and further processed in a warm-dry environment to form a bulk product. These measures reduce the risk of mould formation and retain the natural self-protective function of the oily-lipophilic ingredients. The resulting fruit pins, which measure 1 to 2 cm, meet our requirements for the raw material to be extracted.
What’s so special about this fruit?
In our search for new herbal active ingredients, the ethnobotanical approach which lead us to the Pandanus considered the following questions: How do other cultures use the fruit? What information is available to us from modern science today?
The native people of Papua are already familiar with Pandanus conoideus as a source of food. A natural dye (carotenoids) and a red oil are also obtained from the plant through pressing or cooking. Pandanus fruit is available on the markets of Indonesia, usually in the form of freshly pressed oil. Due to their traditional practises, the locals are convinced that the plant is suitable both as an eye and skin medication and to treat tumours and worms. The uses of the fruit and of its preparations range from food additives to remedies for gastrointestinal complaints, wound healing and dry skin. Based on the disease conditions defined in traditional applications, an anti-inflammatory potential can be derived as a characteristic. Our own scientific studies confirmed that Pandanus has an anti-inflammatory potential. For the Pandanus extract EVOR9476 which we produce, in-vitro tests on biomarkers for inflammations such as TNFα resulted in IC50 values of about 20 µg/ml. This test result is considered to be very potent and the activity is several times greater than that of the pressed Pandanus oils traditionally used.
EVOR9476 Pandanus extract
Finzelberg produces Pandanus extract EVOR9476 under GMP conditions. It contains the valuable ingredients of the complex, herbal, multi-component mixture. EVOR9476 is solid at room temperature and a homogenous, fatty, red oil at temperatures above 30°C. About 85% of the ingredient spectrum is known (fatty acids 83%, tocopherols 1%, carotenoids 0.8% and phytosterols 0.2%).
Modern, highly demanding skincare products with Pandanus EVOR9476
The ingredients of Pandanus extract EVOR9476 provide both nurturing and anti-inflammatory effects. This ideal combination of care and anti-inflammatory action opens up the possibility of using the extract in cortisone-free salves, creams and lotions specifically designed as an alterative treatment for neurodermitis and psoriasis.
We have successfully tested initial applications of a Pandanus cream preparation on neurodermitis patients. Our development department was also able to produce a decolourised extract for use in cosmetics-related applications.
EVOR9476 has already been processed into optimised, ready-to-use formulations which are available for the purposes of recipe development.
We offer a very good starting point for our business partners from the cosmetics industry:
if you are active in this field of business, ask us about Pandanus.
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