Brave New World of Botanical NATIVE EXTRACTS

With interest in native ingredients growing globally, NATIVE EXTRACTS is using exciting new methodologies and technologies to extract the best nature has to offer for health, wellness and beauty products in cosmetics and nutraceuticals, as well as food and beverage formulations.

We chatted with NATIVE EXTRACTS' Director Lisa Carroll to learn more about this exciting new frontier for Australian natives and traditional botanical ingredients.

Tell us a bit about NATIVE EXTRACTS and what you do. 

NATIVE EXTRACTS uses innovative methodologies to create efficient and sustainable ingredients such as cellular extracts, native oil infusions, new native essential oils and highly concentrated nutrient-dense ingestible native essences.

In 2013, we publicly launched an unprecedented library of phyto-compounds from Australian native sources, aka “The Australian Pharmacopoeia”. It was considered the largest water-soluble plant profiling of Australian native botanicals at the time. Since then, we have continued to grow and share our analytical results with brands who are formulating a variety of natural products, with an emphasis on supporting emerging Indigenous enterprises.

We are positioned uniquely across multiple industries at the convergence of agriculture, science and technology. With demand for traceable natural ingredients at an all-time high, we want to enhance the understanding of both Australian native and traditional botanical species as natural solutions for health, wellness and beauty products.

What sets your extraction process apart from traditional methods?    

Cellular extraction presents an alternative to synthetic purified extracts. It is transparent and traceable back to source and harnesses natural molecules as they exist in the species, suspending them in a liquid medium for use in both topical and ingestible formulations.

NATIVE EXTRACTS is renowned for technical innovation. We’ve harnessed and maintained natural phyto-compounds and their derivatives in their water-soluble entourage to build large libraries of compound data for species. Our cellular extraction process has achieved the breakthrough in harnessing the highly unstable natural vitamin C molecule in an aqueous format for extended periods. We achieved this through cellular extract of Kakadu Plum, known as the world’s highest natural source of the molecule.

Our extraction methods honour inclusive, responsible and sustainable practices with sourcing guided by strict traceability and transparency guidelines.

What products do you sell using lemon myrtle? And what can they be used for? 

We share a longstanding relationship with Australian Native Products due to its emphasis on quality growing. We are excited to work with lemon myrtle leaf and the natural water-soluble profile it offers for topical and ingestible applications such as lemon myrtle cellular extract in concentrate and standard dilutions, and the new nutrient-dense, ESS lemon myrtle 3:1 and aniseed myrtle essences 3:1 ingestible format in our Native Essences range.  

It has an extremely exciting profile and is naturally multifunctional, offering a powerhouse of antioxidants and other compounds that target a wide range of applications. There is potential use of the lemon myrtle extract for skin and hair care, brightening and blemish applications, and wound healing possibilities. 

Lemon myrtle cellular extract is very different to the volatile compounds it presents in its essential oil. Discovering new ways to diversify this unique species, which has achieved cult status in many Asian countries, presents more reasons to formulate with this leaf. This extract presents an exciting opportunity for brands to layer the multiple synergistic compounds from the oil and the hydrophilic extract.

Are lemon myrtle extracts popular among customers? Do you think there is something special about lemon myrtle? 

Absolutely! It is one of the Australian species that is spearheading the A-Beauty trend in Asia particularly, with pop-up stores dedicated to topical and ingestible products a major feature in those markets. This leaf extract is being translated into food and beverage products, flavours, cosmetics and skincare, hair care and we are currently doing R&D on significant ingestible products. As a source of Procyaninidins, its water-soluble compounds represent great potential for nutraceutical development as well.   

Do you think there is greater potential for Australia's native extracts in the future? 

I believe that Australia holds more potential than the Amazon for new sources of nutrition and health. Our species have evolved over millions of years in some of the harshest conditions in the world, developing efficient mechanisms to create and store vital combinations of phyto-compounds in order to survive. They have sustained the oldest living culture on the planet, whose people have long known the importance of these species.

The rise of Australian cosmetics - known as the A-beauty movement - and native ingredients is just beginning. Following the food industry’s movement toward wild-harvested, Indigenous bush foods, other industries are now wanting the same rich backstories to bring their consumers closer to the source. Led by conscious consumer demands, our R&D of Australian species has led to exponential natural product innovation that brings more than efficacy, but also helps to share authentic stories of growers and Indigenous enterprises with consumers.

The work we have done is only the beginning of understanding what Australia’s largely untapped mega-diversity represents.

 Learn more here.