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Natural Enzymes for Ecological Detergents to improve biologically certified Washing products

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NEEDbioWash (Natural Enzymes for Ecological Detergents to improve biologically certified Washing products)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-09-30

The project NEEDbioWash is going to demonstrate the production of a natural enzyme product by an efficient fermentation process which will boost the washing performance of eco-certified laundry products significantly. It is well-known that enzymes considerably increase the washing performance as they can degrade stains, which are not removed by surfactants. However, conventional enzymes are not allowed in eco-certified laundry detergents due to the use of GMOs.

The innovative idea of NEEDbioWash consists of using an efficient fermentation technique to avoid the need of genetical modification to enhance productivity. The consortium of NEEDbioWash includes the two most important stakeholders for this innovation.

The market of organic food and non-food merchandise is growing rapidly, both in the European and the global market growth rates of up to 20% are to observe. This is due the raising awareness of the customers to more healthy products, more responsible use of resources, better working conditions, fair traded goods and animal welfare. In organic-labelled products ingredients produced from or by GMO are strictly forbidden, as the influence of GMO on the human health and the environment are not yet satisfyingly investigated. Organic products aim to be produced as natural as possible, including the used raw materials. We are convinced that it is time to provide conscious customers also an environment-friendly laundry detergent product which is entirely natural and has still outstanding washing performance, as people nowadays have – also in the organic community – no time to care about dirty laundry.
The first twelve months of the project were foreseen for the optimisation and scale up of the enzyme production process by NST according to the requirements of Remsgold who already tested the enzymes for their stain removing efficiency.
Two variants of the NEEDbioWash enzymes show good performance.
Furthermore, the required analytical methods were established by TECNALIA and carried out for the samples provided by NST.
OWS proceeded with the data collection for the life cycle analysis of the future products.
The industrial challenge is that the customer must decide between conventional laundry products with a high washing performance and low price and environmentally-friendly products with a lower washing performance and a higher price. What most of the customers ignore is that enzymes can remove a large diversity of stains, which are not or only at very high temperatures removable by surfactants. But, in eco-certified laundry detergents enzymes are usually not allowed due to their production from or by GMOs. Thus, to answer this challenge of developing eco-certified laundry detergents with similar washing performance and a competitive price, enzymes are indispensable. Consequently, a provider of certified organic enzymes is needed to supply to the growing market of organic laundry detergents a key ingredient to improve washing at low temperatures.
NST as organic enzymes supplier and RG as (eco) laundry detergent producer can answer this business need with NEEDbioWash. To comply with the strict standards of the Association of Organic Processors, Wholesalers and Retailers (Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN) e.V.) which is the most important interest organization in the organic market in Germany, the GMO-free production of all ingredients must be documented along the entire production chain from 2018.
The NEEDbioWash beneficiaries are convinced that the outcome of the NEEDbioWash project will be organic detergent products comprising organic NEEDbiowash enzymes which improve the stain removing properties which will clearly be a progress beyond the state of the art. So far, no competitive product has been identified that fulfils all the necessary requirements regarding certification and washing performance neither on the European, nor on the world-wide market.