Kochi: Turning waste to wealth, scientists of the Fisheries Research Institute here have developed a lipstick using reddish brown spots from squid skin to give different hues instead of the normally used chemicals.
Squid skin has reddish brown spores called chromatophores which have been isolated and used as natural pigment in the lipsticks, a senior scientist who along with her team has developed the lipstick, said.
"We extracted the chromatophores and studied its characteristics which was then used as colourant for the lipstick," said Dr Femeena Hassan, Senior Scientist, Quality Assurance and Management Division of Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT).
Instead of artificial colours, the colourants extracted from squid skin can be used for lipsticks. Different shades were developed using this pigment and they were screened for consumer acceptance applying hedonic scale method.
The newly-formulated lipstick was subjected to physical, chemical and microbiological quality evaluation, she said.
The product was compared with commercially available lipstick brands and the new product she claimed was found to have superior properties.
The new product also met with the national quality standards laid down for such category of products, she said.
Normally, lipsticks contain butylated hydroxyl toluene, Nylon G, Ferric Oxide, Polyethelene and Titanium dioxide which are used to give different shades. These chemicals can cause allergy and even cancer, she said.
Stating that there would be no odour, Dr Femeena said food grades can be used to give flavours to it to make it more acceptable. The squid lipsticks will have a shelf life of 15 months.
Cost wise, also they would not be heavy on the pocket and would be 10 per cent less than the products available in the market, she said, adding there are plans to commercially launch the product.
Dr Femeena had received Dr Ravindran Endowment Award for her paper on "Isolation of squid chromatophores and its commercial applciation as natural pigment in lipsticks` at the 22nd Swadeshi Science Congress at Kasaragod recently.