Study of Semiconductor Photocatalyzed Oxidation of Lactic Acid Used in Cosmetic and Food Industries

Author(s): P. R. Meena and R. K. Khandelwal

Photocatalysis has received enormous attention in recent years because of its potential application in environmental treatment and fine chemical synthesis. It is known under aqueous conditions, organic contaminants in wasted water can be degraded into CO2 and H2O, whereas under dry organic solvent or controlled pH, irradiation time, by using visible or UV light etc., the organic compounds may also be selectively oxidized into fine chemical products rather than complete mineralization1-5. Alpha hydroxy acids (like Lactic acid) is due to their excellent capability to penetrate skin, it is being used in a variety of skin care products and peeling agents including moisturizers, cleansers, eye cream, sunscreen and foundations etc., simultaneously the titanium oxide, zinc oxides etc. are used as the base for these materials. Hence, it is essential to understand that there may be photo-oxidation of lactic acid, which may cause other side effects on skin like irritation including redness, burning, itching, pain, scarring etc., by sensitized photo-oxidation of these skin care products in the presence of these semiconductors. Lactic acid is also being used as a food preservative, curing agent, wine taste enhancer and flavoring agent6. It is therefore, planed to investigate photo-oxidation of lactic acid by semiconductors. The produced photoproduct has been isolated as its derivatives and then analyzed them by appropriate spectral or other suitable methods. Hence, this part of reported work may help to arouse the interdisciplinary interest about the side effects of photo-products, where these are being used.

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