Universiti Malaya – Wales

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By Shahril Efzueni Rozali

Plants cells have become of great interest to the cosmetics industry as a source of novel polyphenol-based anti-ageing ingredients. The sustainable production of these bioactive compounds from the in vitro grown plant cells offer many advantages over conventional agricultural production, according to a tissue culture study in red carrot published on October 2020 in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.


The industrial potential of carrot cell extract to be utilised as safe and sustainable sources for the development of cosmetic ingredients and nutraceutical supplements has led the author to compare their red carrot cell line R4G with the natural red carrot extracts available on the market. The R4G cell line was selected based on high accumulation of polyphenols with known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.


In this study, they focused on the suitability of the extract produced from the pigmented carrot cell line as a cosmetic ingredient and nutraceutical food additive. The mouse monocyte/macrophage cell-line J774A.1 were exposed to R4G extract to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of the extract. They found evidence for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in mouse J774A.1 cell as it protected the cells from oxidative stress triggered by exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharides and H2O2.


The reconstructed human epidermis and human microdermal endothelial cell from a donor aged 60 years were used as in vitro human skin models to further investigate the anti-inflammatory mechanisms of RG4 extract, for anti-ageing activity. They found that the treated epidermis cells demonstrated the suppression NF-κB translocation while significant upregulation of VEGF-A gene expression was observed in the treated microdermal endothelial cell. This indicates that the topical application of R4G extract may slow the ageing process and promote angiogenesis.


The researcher readily acknowledges that the plant cell biomass used as food or for the preparation of nutraceutical supplements must be safe for human consumption. Thus, it is important to compare the cell culture extract composition with plant extract.


Another analysis to survey the metabolome of R4G cells line and compare it with the commercial products revealed that the extract is richer in anthocyanins than the other sources but the levels of other metabolites are similar in the R4G and commercial extracts. Hence, the researchers concluded that the R4G extract is safely consumed by humans as a nutraceutical supplement.


Overall, the authors suggested that this plant biomass cultivated in bioreactor could provide a safer and more standardised approach for production of ingredients used in the cosmetic, nutraceutical and food sectors.



Bianconi, M. et al., (2020). Red Carrot Cells Cultured in vitro are Effective, Stable, and Safe Ingredients for Skin Care, Nutraceutical, and Food Applications. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol, 8, 575079