The million-euro deal allows Keratec to distribute cosmetic ingredients derived from wool products to Croda's markets in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Fractionation of keratins during the Keratec process results in a range of new products with specific applications in cosmetics. These include the high molecular weight fibrous proteins responsible for hair strength, the medium molecular weight matrix proteins that bind the components of hair together and highly functional peptides.
Keratec also produces lipids from within the wool fibre containing a mix of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol closely matching those present in the skin. These ingredients create new opportunities for the formulation of hair, skin and nail care products worldwide.
"Keratec's technology for the extraction and refinement of peptides and lipids is in direct synergy with Croda's existing technology portfolio, particularly in the area of proteins and their derivatives," said Nick Challoner, Croda marketing manager.
Negotiations began earlier this year at the I-Cosmetic Show in Paris and the deal is believed to be the start of an ongoing partnership between Keratec and Croda worth millions.
"In the short term there will be no immediate impact on our business but in 12-18 months we're expecting significant demands of our wool products," said Bruce Foulds,Keratec chief executive.
The deal allows Keratec, a Wool Board legacy company, the opportunity to supply the same companies as Croda, such as cosmetic giant L'Oreal. It also gives Keratec the chance to break into smaller fragmented companies that operate underneath these larger companies.
"We have achieved immediate access to fragmented global markets and our respective science teams will now work together to bring more innovative and highly functional products to the global personal care market," said Foulds.