Depofarma developing cosmetics and nutraceuticals from industrial side-streams

The Italian family company, Depofarma, develops innovative solutions to address patients’ unmet needs in order to optimize the quality of their lives. In this interview, project partner, Paola Dalla Zorza talks about the products they have developed in INGREEN and the importance to their company.

In the INGREEN project, Depofarma is developing three innovative products: (i) a vaginal gel (medical device) enriched with the prebiotic galactoologosaccharides (GOS); (ii) a cleanser for intimate use enriched with lactobionic acid and GOS; (iii) a pre-fermented bran-based product for oral use enriched with GOS. GOS  are chains composed of 2-20 molecules of galactose and glucose digested selectively by bacteria that are beneficial for the health of the gut and intimate area. The first two products are aimed at the prevention and treatment of urogenital infections and the restoration of the Lactobacillus-dominated vaginal microbiota; the third is aimed at the modulation of the gut microbiota. 

What products and processes has Depofarma contributed to developing in INGREEN? 
At an operational level, we have produced new prototypes (a cosmetic, a medical device, and a nutraceutical one) as explained above. Furthermore, by collaborating with ingredient-producing partners, we have ensured that the sidestream byproducts from which these ingredients derive were valorized and transformed in the best possible way. This has allowed us to obtain ingredients that are applicable in pharmaceutical development. Certainly, the most interesting goal is that from the waste products of the dairy and cereal supply chain it is possible to obtain ingredients with a high safety profile that have a beneficial impact on human health and well-being.

What is the main reason Depofarma participated in this BBI project?  
As part of our main business activities, we carry out pharmaceutical research and development of ingredients and products. This Project has allowed us to develop new bio-based and innovative ingredients that could expand our portfolio and may be included in our products.

Your company has shown its commitment to sustainability by participating in the INGREEN project. What other activities has Depofarma conducted to improve your company’s sustainability?
The acceleration of climate change has compounded the need for sustainability.  Alongside using bio-based ingredients for our products, Depofarma has adopted a number of other measures to increase our substantiality.  For example, the photovoltaic system to obtain the energy for our research and development activities, monitoring consumption in real-time, and respecting the environment.

In addition, Depofarma has reduced the number of business trips, adopting smart working as much as possible. This means conducting meetings, training courses and other activities online, both to make work less stressful and to reduce the environmental impact (and, why not, it is also cost-effective!). Lastly, Depofarma is also attentive to the choice of packaging of its products, making sure that it is made from recycled material.

Depofarma is an Italian family company that research and develop products with absolute efficacy and safety profile. Innovative solutions are developed to address patients’ unmet needs in order to optimize the quality of their lives.