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EPA approval for citric acid antimicrobial

Commonly used ingredient in food and beverage and pharmaceutical and dietary products introduced as a textile finish.

24th March 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Scranton, PA, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable, Sports/​Outdoor

Noble Biomaterials has received official EPA registration for its new Ionic+ Botanical which uses a bio-based registered citric acid formula to inhibit the growth of microbes and reduce odour on fabrics and other soft surfaces.

The company began development of the proprietary formula in 2021 and filed for EPA registration as part of the development process to allow it to claim antimicrobial benefits such as odour control and surface protection for various performance fabric applications.

Citric Acid is one of the most commonly used ingredients in food and beverage and pharmaceutical and dietary products, as well as cleaning agents, and the registration now introduces it into the textiles arena.  Noble has seen the growing interest in plant-based solutions and believes that Ionic+ Botanical technology can contribute to meeting the demand for high performance, sustainable material preservation solutions.

“Sometimes innovative solutions are staring you right in the face,” says Joel Furey, founder and chief commercial officer at Noble. “Citric Acid is used for so many things in our everyday lives and during the pandemic we noticed how much citric was used as an antimicrobial and disinfectant agent in various consumer products. This led us to explore its use in fabric applications. After significant research and development, we were able to engineer a novel approach that is both an effective and durable solution for the antimicrobial protection of textiles and other materials.”

Before manufacturers can sell products with antimicrobial actives in the United States, the EPA must evaluate products thoroughly to ensure they meet federal safety standards to protect human health and the environment. EPA regulates antimicrobial actives by reviewing the toxicity of the ingredients and the potential for exposure. Approval of a product for registration is based on scientific assessment related to the identity, composition, potential adverse effects and environmental fate of each product.

“We know it’s important to our brand partners and ultimately end users to bring products to the market that are built on integrity, efficacy and sustainability,” says Furey. “As our portfolio of antimicrobial solutions with Ionic+ continues to grow, we are excited to now add a plant-based option.”

The new Ionic+ Botanical product line complements Noble’s established Ionic+ Mineral products built around the benefits of permanent silver technology to control bacteria on fabric.

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