Saturday, October 16, 2010
Preservatives: What can get into our creations!
Gram positive bacteria: These are bacteria that turn dark blue or purple when Gram stained in the lab. They lack the outer membrane of the gram negative bacteria. This family includes staphylococcus, enterococcus, listeria, and clostridium. Most of the bacteria that cause problems in humans are gram positive. (Want to know more? Click here!)
Gram negative bacteria: These are bacteria that turn red or pink when Gram stained in the lab. They have the outer membrane the gram positive bacteria lack. This family includes E. coli, salmonella, enterobacteria, pseudomonas, helicobacter pylori, and gonorrhoea.
When these little beasties get into our products, they can cause all kinds of problems with the product itself - off smells, destabilization of our emulsions, an increase in rancidity - as well as to the health of the end user. Contaminated products can cause skin infections, allergic reactions, and worse.
Take a look at this recall information from a large company (and this is just one of hundreds I could have posted here...)
Arbonne International has issued a voluntary recall on one lot of its Seasource Detox Spa® Foaming Sea Salt Scrub. The recalled products were manufactured by a third party and distributed nationwide through Arbonne Independent Consultants....This voluntary recall was initiated by Arbonne as a result of discovering the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria in the recalled lot. No other lots are affected. The organism Pseudomonas aeruginosa may cause dermatitis, soft tissue infections, bacteremia, and a variety of system infections, particularly with users who are immunosuppressed. Because the Foaming Sea Salt Scrub is used to exfoliate the skin’s surface, there is a possibility that inadvertent introduction of the tainted product directly into any skin abrasions could result in infection.
Wow! Preservative free ain't looking so good now, is it?
good manufacturing practices like heating and holding our products, and we use broad spectrum preservatives that will keep the beasties out and the goodness of our creations longer!
Want to see some mouldy lotion? Click here to see Anne-Marie of the Soap Queen blog's experiences with a contaminated lotion!
Join me tomorrow as we take a look at how preservatives work before we get into the specific preservatives themselves!