Kin Sin Medicine Manufactory is a TCM and health supplement manufacturer. Huiji Waist Tonic® is a health tonic product of theirs. This product is made up of six different TCM herbs. The active water-soluble constituents of the TCM herbs have been extracted out to produce the tonic, thus leaving behind the active water-insoluble constituents in the residue. Residues are then disposed as waste by the company. Currently, the company generates about 600kg of waste per week. On top of that, the company is spending more money on reducing the volume of the herb residue before disposal. As a result, the company is interested in reusing the herb residues to develop a new product that will bring in revenues and reduce the current cost of waste disposal.
The objective of this project is to carry out studies on the processing of the herb residues provided to explore the feasibility of use of residue in cosmetic formulation. An extensive literature search on the six herbs found in the herbs residue was done to understand its active water-insoluble constituents as well as the beneficial effects on the skin. Afterwards, the herb residues went through several mechanical processes such as drying (freeze or oven), grinding, particle size screening, blending and extraction. This will transform the residues to a suitable form of either powder, viscous paste or extract that may be incorporated into the cosmetic formulations. Physicochemical tests such as colour, odour, pH, particle size, viscosity, moisture content, shelf-life and microbial growth were determined to evaluate the processed herb residue. The processed residue which provided the most preferred results will then be used to formulate into cosmetic products such as face mask or cream. The evaluations of all formulations were done based on different parameters such as pH, viscosity, spreadability, stability and microbial growth.