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Research and its Application

Natural Products

Interest in natural materials is at an all-time high in today's world. Kao conducts research in natural product chemistry with two goals in mind: to find substances that are truly effective, and to add special properties to them through the application of our proprietary technologies. We do not simply add botanical extracts to our products. Rather, we work to isolate active ingredients and clarify their structure. We use them as lead compounds in our search for substances that are physiologically active, while striving to clarify the mechanisms behind their effects.

In manufacturing extracts from botanicals, it is important not only to enhance effectiveness, but also to ensure that they meet raw-material quality requirements in terms of safety and compatibility. In developing our own manufacturing processes, our goal is twofold: to effectively extract active ingredients from nature, and to remove unwanted attributes such as colorants and irritants. The many extracts that we have already commercialized (such as ginger, eucalyptus, and hiba arborvitae) were all developed in this way. One noteworthy example is our Chamomile ET, which we developed by effectively extracting the active lipophilic ingredient from chamomile. Chamomile ET is unusual among botanical extracts in that it has been approved by the Japanese government as an active ingredient for a skin-whitening quasi-drug.
In the field of molecular design based on natural compounds, we investigate the partial chemical structure of the substance responsible for the physiological effect in question, and pursue development while optimizing attributes such as safety, compatibility, and manufacturing cost. We are committed to learning from nature while pursuing possibilities that transcend nature.



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