Patent # WO2020/201182 A1
The invention by UGent researcher Chris Callewaert, CMET (Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology) – Faculty of biosciences engineering - reduces unpleasant body smells caused by the bacterial conversion of molecules that are present in sweat. Purified enzymes, lyophilized or non-living bacteria, bacterial lysates, and/or bacterial fragments are capable of fully catabolizing human skin lipids and squalene, and will as such prevent bad smells. The invention also uses enzymes that produce a natural fragrance from squalene breakdown products.
Deodorants and antiperspirants are widely used to mask body odour. Both use perfumes, to mask the production of bad odours, and generally use antimicrobial compounds to limit the bacterial growth.
Commonly used compounds with an antimicrobial and/or antifungal function include triclosan, triclocarsan, quaternary ammonium compounds, metal salts, aliphatic alcohols and glycols, and other fragrances. Antiperspirants generally contain aluminium salts, blocking the sweat pores by mechanical obstruction.
Today's deodorants and antiperspirants do not adjust the microbiome, but will instead infer a shock to the microbial community, resulting in an increased microbial diversity. This is unwanted as a higher microbial diversity is associated with stronger bad smells. The abundance of corynebacteria may increase, which may lead to the formation of more bad smells.
The addition of extra enzymes fully converts the biochemical compounds in e.g. the armpit.
In one aspect, the use of fatty acid degrading enzymes will enable fatty acid breakdown and sweat molecules on skin and clothes to trigger the complete breakdown of fatty acids release from sebaceous and apocrine sweat glands. Enzymes fully catabolize squalene leading to a biochemically breakdown in non-malodorous molecules or useful building blocks. A series of enzymes use squalene and converts it into farnesyl, mevalonate and acetyl.
In other words, the invention discloses the usage of enzymes to convert naturally secreted molecules on skin to produce other useful compounds on skin, rather than degrading and producing malodorous volatiles.
The bacterial breakdown products, although not fully characterized, are known to cause a specific malodour. The skin microbiome is rich and complex and every skin niche has its own specific microbiome.