Ocean of opportunity: Taiwan biotech firm ramping up R&D efforts to push the potential of fucoidan

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Hi-Q Marine Biotech studying its fucoidan-polysaccharide to expand its potential in the cosmetics market. [Getty Images]
Hi-Q Marine Biotech studying its fucoidan-polysaccharide to expand its potential in the cosmetics market. [Getty Images]

Related tags Blue Beauty marine ingredients Taiwan Biotechnology hydration anti-inflammatory

A Taiwanese biotech firm specialising in seaweed-based ingredients is studying its fucoidan-polysaccharide to expand its potential in the cosmetics market.

Hi-Q Marine Biotech’s FucoSkin is produced from aqueous extraction of the brown algae, laminaria japonica, commonly known as kombu.

According to the Snow Hsieh, the firm’s international business director, people mostly associate fucoidan hydration. However, the company believes there is more potential to the seaweed-based ingredient.

“Everyone thinks they already know fucoidan. They know it’s an active ingredient from seaweed that has moisturising benefits – that’s the first thing they think of. However, it also has very good anti-inflammation properties.”

With its anti-inflammatory properties, the company recognises potential avenues to use its ingredient to aid skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (AD)

“AD and skin repair is an area we are exploring. We’re observing growth in this segment because of the environment today – the stressors, the pollution, the hormonal disruptions that lead to people having more sensitive skin,” ​said Hsieh.

She underscored that anti-inflammatory ingredients would grow more significant in the cosmetics space as non-invasive aesthetic treatments become more mainstream.

These procedures often lead to skin sensitivity and would require anti-inflammatory ingredients to counter the damage. This would drive consumers and medical aesthetic professionals to seek the necessary solutions, said Hsieh.

Furthermore, the company is also looking into the potential of using Fucoskin as a prebiotic.

“Seaweed has a lot of nutrients and minerals. It is also a prebiotic as well, so we can talk about using it with probiotics, and postbiotics. The skin microbiome is one of the areas we want to look into more closely.”

Moving forward, the company also sees the potential to study the ingredient’s potential for hair care.

“We already know this ingredient has very good anti-inflammatory properties. Just like with skin, the hair is under stress from the environment and more people are experiencing hair loss. We could potentially have a good thing for this as more people start to care for their hair like their skin,” ​said Hsieh.

Pure powder

The company is set to launch a powdered version of its ingredient to make it easier to transport and increase its potency.

“Currently, in its liquid form, it has only 10% fucoidan. With are aiming to make it pure – 100% fucoidan – so you don’t have to use as much, and you have hight active content. Currently as a liquid, the recommended is 1% to 3%. With powder, we’re expecting somewhere around 0.5% or less,” ​said Hsieh.

Additionally, a powdered format would allow the company to accommodate to companies looking to develop anhydrous products.

The company seeks to leverage the interest in blue beauty and marine ingredients, especially in markets such as North America, Latin America, and Europe.

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