Alimarket Inerview With Robert Cabal – The Future of Disinfectants and Sanitizers
- Iberchem Fragrances
- 17 July, 2020
- Categories: Interview
Robert Cabal (Iberchem): “Basic hygiene standards went from being something extra to something fundamental”
In recent months, we have seen disinfectants and sanitizers go from being an essential weapon in the fight against the coronavirus to being an everyday product in consumers’ groceries. Robert Cabal, Fragrance Director at Iberchem, tells us how hygiene is paving the way for innovation and for the development of new products. He also explains what projects the company is working on in this direction.
Alimarket: From your point of view, how does the demand for disinfectants and sanitizers have grown in recent months for fragrance manufacturers such as Iberchem?
Robert Cabal: The fragrance sector has shown great solidarity during the crisis. To help address the scarcity of disinfectants and sanitizers at the beginning of the pandemic, many of our customers dedicated part of their production lines to the production of such products, as they had the facilities to do so. Many of them donated these products to hospitals and public institutions to help fight the virus. Now, it seems that the demand is more stable, but it is still higher than normal. We believe they’ll remain common products, even once the pandemic is over, as people will be more conscious of hygiene.
A: There is a lot of talk about how the COVID-19 crisis has caused major changes in people’s buying habits. Hygiene and overall safety are now two things standing out above others. From your point of view, in which way is the market heading in the development of these products?
R.C.: Although they are now considered more important than ever, hygiene and safety are nothing new. For instance, in developing countries, where Iberchem has a strong presence, it has always been something critical. At Iberchem, for example, the demand for our NeoGuard technology (fragrances with hygiene benefits) is now increasing in these countries. However, when looking into further details, what has changed is the kind of demand. Now, basic hygiene standards went from being an “added value” to something fundamental. In that sense, NeoGuard has gone from being an extra for some clients to something everybody wants in their fragrances.
A: What is the situation regarding the raw materials for the manufacture of these products.
R.C.: There has been a scarcity of the alcohol used in this kind of products. As a substitute, bioethanol is commonly used. Bioethanol is generally obtained from the microbe fermentation of sugar or starch from varying raw materials, such as sugar cane, corn, forest waste, etc. As a result of this fermentation process, this compound tends to release an unpleasant smell when used, for instance, in hand sanitizing solutions. To eliminate this odour, we need to use specific fragrances to make the products pleasant to use.
A: What are your customers asking for with regard to these types of products?
R.C.: Until now, disinfectants and sanitizers have had only a basic supply, to respond to the everyday demand. However, the same way colourful face masks are starting to appear everywhere, people are now including these products in their daily lives and are looking for more variety. For example, some of our customers are asking for fragrances that have the profile of those used in fine perfumery. Similarly, they also want to add features typically found in skincare products, such as moisturising, softening, and so on.
A: Does Iberchem have any ongoing projects, developments or research in response to consumers’ increasing safety concerns?
R.C.: Iberchem is continually developing products that adapt to people’s needs. The actual situation has obviously generated a new demand among customers. For instance, we are already working on fragrances with an added technology specifically made for face masks or other fragranced products for the personal hygiene of children, among many others.
To read the interview in its original version, click here