Innovation and compliance converge on UL’s Prospector

UL’s Prospector can be accessed from a computer or a mobile phone It is crucial for formulators to remain abreast of global regulatory changes. The latest developments on Prospector, the materials and ingredients search engine from UL, provide the personal care industry with an overview of global regulatory information.

Regulations in the cosmetics and personal care industry are there to protect the health, safety and well-being of billions of consumers worldwide, as well as the corporations that produce the thousands of brands on the market today. While they continually strive to create novel, effective and safe products, at the same time complying with regulations is crucial to their bottom line.

But how do cosmetics companies, formulators and R&D teams stay up to date with regulatory changes? They use Prospector – a comprehensive and global ingredients database that enables quick and easy access to everything they need to know about personal care and cosmetics ingredients. This online platform contains technical information on more than 20 000 ingredients from hundreds of suppliers, and promises to speed up R&D processes significantly.

One-to-one connection

‘For over 20 years, Prospector has played a key role in connecting global product developers with ingredients supplier to speed up the innovation process in the global personal care/cosmetics industry,’ says Whitney Black, global marketing manager for UL. ‘It is also used by professionals in nine other manufacturing industries including paint and coatings, plastics, and food, beverage and nutrition.’

This web-based materials and ingredient database connects product developers with new ingredients, global suppliers and product information. Content on the site includes technical data sheets, safety data sheets, and regulatory information. Physical property data, critical specifications, and compliance records, amongst other content, are all part of detailed product profiles on ULProspector.com.

New offerings and fresh functionality

Offering the next level in regulatory information, Prospector recently launched Regulatory Snapshots. This functionality is available on more than 16 000 product profile pages. Black explains: ‘These snapshots provide an overview of global regulatory information on a specific product, which is updated quarterly.’

The site has also introduced a company-wide tool called Prospector Enterprise. This is a customised version of ULProspector.com, which allows companies to marry their internal ingredient data with existing data on the search engine. ‘They can also customise the presentation of search results to drive better materials selection and streamline communication to facilitate information sharing across departments for faster, smarter innovations,’ she comments.

The Regulatory Snapshots functionality is available with a Prospector Professional subscription, and helps product developers identify the most compliant ingredients, which eventually saves valuable time and money. Black adds: ‘From talking to many formulators and chemists, it is apparent that a lot of resources are unnecessarily spent re-formulating products due of regulatory compliance issues. With Regulatory Snapshots, formulators can make better ingredient selections and avoid major delays in the product development cycle.’

An exclusive online community

Formulators choose Prospector as their one-stop-shop for researching and exploring ingredients from thousands of suppliers around the globe. While using the site is free of charge, Prospector membership is exclusive.

‘Membership applications are verified to ensure the quality of our website community,’ comments Black. ‘Members can also upgrade to a Prospector Premium subscription to access advanced search and assessment tools.’

In addition to downloading critical documentation, members can request samples and contact suppliers with pricing and technical questions. As an established resource in the personal care and cosmetics industry, the search engine is also in the unique position to anticipate the needs of the product development community. It also actively works to introduce and improve tools to support supply chain information flow.

Ultimately, Prospector’s goal is to solve the information challenges across the supply chain while increasing connectivity to bring better, safer products to market. Black says the search engine will continue to do this through expanding its advanced search and assessment tools available via Prospector Professional. ‘Additionally, we are working closely with manufacturers to improve internal team communication and collaboration, which is the driving force behind Prospector Enterprise innovations. We also invite input from industry on additional enhancements to the search engine,’ she concludes.


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