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Mentholatum: how to improve the nation’s No 1? Here’s the rub… 

Project contact
Dr Lorraine Kerr
Director of Strategic Partnerships North America

The Mentholatum Company are the developers of Deep Heat. Deep Heat is the UK’s best-selling heat brand and is synonymous with pain relief for muscles. For decades, it has been the go-to product for sportsmen and sportswomen, and recreational athletes.   

Deep Heat Rub was brought to the market in 1956. So, you might ask, what can change now? Well, since 2011, that’s what a partnership between the company and the University of Edinburgh’s academic experts has been aiming to find out.  

A consultancy project was commissioned as the company had changed the active ingredients in the product and wanted to test it would still function in the same way with no effect on consumers.

The company also wanted research tests run on new improvements to the production facilities and to explore the wider use of menthol and product diversification. 

The collaboration provided reassurance that increasing the scale of commercial production did not alter the inherent properties of this complex emulsion.

Colin Brown, Director of Research & Quality Development, The Mentholatum Company (UK) 

Dr Tiffany Wood took a secondment with Mentholatum to use her expertise in advanced imaging techniques to explore how the microstructure of the company's major product, Deep Heat, determined its performance. She also explored new routes to formulation.

I am glad to have worked with the company to explore their traditional processes and to develop innovative routes to formulation development

Dr Tiffany Wood

Dr Wood runs the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP), drawing on academic expertise within the Institute of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems to help industries solve problems in formulation science and product processing. ECFP has worked with a wide range of industries from food and drink, agrochemicals to personal care with a focus on dispersions, emulsions, gels and liquid crystal composites. Long-term stability of products, complex behaviour under shear and product innovation are all common themes. ECFP works particularly closely with colleagues in Soft Matter Physics and the Collaborative Optical Spectroscopy, Micromanipulation and Imaging Centre (COSMIC).

If you are interested in this technology or to explore how Edinburgh Innovations can support innovation in your organisation, please do get in touch.

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