TTH Biotech part 1: Developing biotechnology to strengthen evidence-based cosmetics
1. When did TTH Biotech launch?
TTH Biotech was launched in 2013, after several years of planning.
2. How many employees do you have?
We have 15 employees. We also cooperate with several institutions including colleges in Taiwan.
3. What problem was TTH Biotech trying to solve when it launched?
There are many endemic natural species in Taiwan that not only are unique but also have economic potential. Due to its isolated geographic condition, Taiwan has developed some unique species, but sadly, not many of them are known by consumers.
TTH Biotech was funded by several college professors. They have been dedicated to studying Taiwan’s endemic natural species, and have found some promising candidates for cosmetic active ingredients.
Our main scope is to develop Taiwanese endemic species for cosmetic application and also provide an opportunity for people from other countries to get to know the natural beauty of Taiwan.
4. What are the main considerations when selecting and handling Taiwanese Natural ingredients and biotechnology ingredients for cosmeceutical products?
Our main considerations are safety, efficacy, and stability. Many of our products are derived from plants and its parts, so the safety of the extraction/ferments are crucial.
Also, “evidence-based cosmetics” is one of our core concepts. We want our products to be genuinely effective.
On the other hand, we have faced some difficulties when handling natural products such as relatively darker colouring and condensation. These are all taken into consideration when selecting target plants.
5. How has this market changed in accordance with regulations, manufacturing and consumer needs?
Regulations can only become more and more complete. These may sometimes fail to match with what consumers’ require, but in the long term, it is helping the industry become safer and guaranteed.
In Taiwan, the industry always follows major trend regulations that appear from the US and the EU. The government has also started to set up Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Taiwan, which is designed to enhance cooperation between countries of the Pacific Ocean.
6. Can you talk me through the types of biotechnology ingredients that you use?
Currently, we have products derived from microbial fermentation. There are also some product lines that use other methods that are still under development.
7. What types of natural ingredients that you use?
Mainly extractions of plants or its parts, such as tree trunks, stems, fruits, and leaves. For example, our best feature is Evimit Hinoki essential oil, which is extracted from hinoki tree trunk. The Falomit Noni is also popular, which is extracted from fruits.
8. What is driving the popularity of natural ingredients for formulators and brands?
Our advantage is that we take something that is strongly connected to Taiwan or Taiwanese life. This can include species connected to famous attractions, our daily supplements, or what is commonly used in our life into cosmetic application.
Customers can quickly connect it to their previous experiences and enhance their impression of Taiwan.
9. Have these preferences changed?
Since we only launched a few years ago, I would say that we are still expanding our customers and buyers, so it is still hard to define at the moment.
10. Is there a clear overlap between biotechnology and cosmetics?
In some cases, yes. In our opinion, biotechnology may be considered a bigger category than cosmetics in Taiwan.
Research and studies in biotechnology can be later classified or used in different industries or applications such as food, health supplement, medicine, and cosmetic as well.