A partnership between the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the Midwest Bioprocessing Center is looking at the value of hemp as it relates to personal care products. The new cooperative research and development agreement seeks to expand the market for hemp seed oil. Chemists with the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) have developed a patented process called “bio-catalysis” to bind natural antioxidants to lipids in soybean and other vegetable oils.
In previous research, the process was used to create a class of compounds from soybean oil that were used for a variety of personal care products due to their ultraviolet absorbance and antioxidant properties. The new partnership will focus on using the bio-catalysis process to achieve the same results with hemp seed oil. NCAUR is also looking at more efficient methods for processing hemp into fuels, lubricants and adhesives, along with other viable fiber products and food ingredients.
Listen to the radio report below.