Sugar beets may not top anyone’s weekly shopping list, but they have an important role in the global food supply, providing about 20% of the world’s sugar. Sugar beets are also a natural source of betaine—a useful moisture retention and protection ingredient in skin, hair, and color cosmetics products. For most sugar beet sugar mills, this high-value co-product is trapped in a molasses waste that the mills sell as animal feed.
However, seeing the potential to create new value from an underused byproduct, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences scientists worked in partnership with sugar beet processors to develop a process that both increases sugar yields from beets and recovers a molasses stream that’s rich in natural betaine. DuPont GENENCARE® OSMS is then produced by extracting and purifying the betaine from the de-sugared molasses. Customers use GENENCARE® OSMS as a natural ingredient that enables moisturization and protection in cosmetics, skin care and hair care products.
The 50 top leaders at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences have identified seven central goals and two focus areas within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In autumn, the company will host a workshop presenting tools for others with the same ambitions.
Expectant mothers can wake up to a wellness report of their unborn child and be notified if fetal heartbeat and movement are within acceptable ranges with the new Owlet Band, winner of two CES awards in the categories of Wearable Technology and Tech to Change the World. Specialized sensors housed in a fabric band that sits around the mother's abdomen track fetal heart rate and kick count, sending real-time data to a smartphone.
The agreement, supported by an initial investment of more than one million euros mainly made by DuPont, exemplifies the concept of circular economy and will lead to significant reductions in energy, water and transport consumption for both companies.