RIFM publishes first Natural Complex Substance (NCS) safety assessment
Pioneering assessment of fragrance materials extracted from plants emphasizes animal-alternative methods
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. – Observed annually on March 21st, Fragrance Day aims to celebrate the critical role of fragrance in our lives. Fragrance improves quality of life, encourages good hygiene, and has a potent link to memory.
But evaluating its safe use is just as critical as how fragrance makes us feel. To fully and freely enjoy fragranced products, we need the assurance that they have been deemed safe—safe to apply to our skin, inhale, and use on our loved ones. The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), a leader in safety evaluation and research of fragrance ingredients, provides that crucial peace of mind with its transparent, scientifically objective, and robust Safety Assessment Program.
RIFM published its first peer-reviewed Natural Complex Substance (NCS) safety assessment. NCS materials are extracted from plants like citruses and used in fragrance mixtures for various consumer products. They contain several (but not only) fragrance ingredients with different physical–chemical properties, making their testing process more complicated. For many, the term “natural” invokes an inherent sense of safety; however, this is not necessarily so. Naturally occurring substances can be toxic to humans, making RIFM’s work essential. Evaluating these complex mixtures on a component and whole-oil basis, RIFM is pioneering these safety assessments with a strong emphasis on animal-alternative methods.
RIFM has completed safety evaluations of all synthetic fragrance ingredients and published peer-reviewed assessments for more than 1,500. The Institute expects to publish assessments covering all synthetic fragrance ingredients by the end of 2024. The next step is to evaluate NCS ingredients, for which RIFM published a Criteria Document in 2022. RIFM should publish assessments for all NCS ingredients by 2027.
“RIFM’s safety evaluations of these complex mixtures will benefit consumers and companies internationally,” says Danielle Botelho, Ph.D., RIFM’s Safety Assessment Manager. “Because science is always evolving, our team of experts utilizes the newest proven methodologies in our assessment process while remaining firm in our commitment to animal-alternative methods.”