The humble bowl of porridge is not just good for inner health and outer beauty, but for the planet too, say scientists.

An international team, led by AgResearch in Australia, is, in fact, developing eco-friendly beauty products which use the natural antioxidants found in oats and an ancient grain -cum-purple weed called amaranth.

AgResearch's Becky Macdonald said the moisturising and antioxidant properties of both, if properly processed, showed they will make excellent skin and hair products.

“We're pretty excited about the properties of both amaranth and oats. With the right funding and partners, both should be on the shelves in the future alongside synthetic chemical products.

“We're aware that the search for bio-based materials for personal care applications is becoming more important due to a global move away from using non-renewable resources and environmentally damaging, chemical-based production methods,” Ms. Macdonald said.

The team is focussing on extracting biopolymers from natural materials using eco-friendly methods as an alternative to synthetically derived molecules.

According to the CEO of Biopolymer Network Limited, owned by AgResearch, Sarah Heine, the company has already patented a water-based extraction technology and further research is focused on modifying resultant molecules to make them suitable for use in beauty products. “This is just one of many projects currently underway,” Ms. Heine said.

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