Containing Vegetable Ceramides

Wheat germ oil has been applied to cosmetics and foods for a long time. It contains glycolipids including ceramides, namely, natural moisturizing components. In accordance with the Standards for Cosmetic Component Descriptions, Wheat germ oil (Component Code 522034) is widely usable in creams, milky lotions, gels, shampoos, etc.


Functions of skin:
(1) to prevent evaporation of the moisture from the body.
(2) to defense against external irritations and invasion of bacteria, etc.

Skin Structure and Moisturizing:
The skin is roughly classified into epidermis, corium and hypoderm. The epidermis consists of horny layer (=the outermost layer), granular layer, spinous layer and basal layer. In particular, the horny layer in the epidermis is largely related to the flexibility of the healthy skin. The flexibility (or moisturizing) of the skin is maintained by the moisture contained in this horny layer.

Horny Layer Components and Moisturizing:
"Ceramides" are largely contained in the lipids constituting the horny layer. Namely, ceramides amount to approx. 40% of the intercellular lipids in the human horny layer, and play the major part in moisturizing the human skin.


In general, a ceramide has a structure in which a fatty acid is bonded to sphingosine. In ceramides originating in wheat, sugars like mannose and glucose are further bonded to glycolipids. In human and animal bodies, ceramides are generated in the skin, blood, brain, spinal cord and nerve tissue, whereas in plants, they are generated in wheat, rice, soybean, maze, spinach, etc.

Substances containing both of sugar and lipid in a molecule are generally called glycolipids. Glycolipids are widely found in animal and plant bodies including human body and are regarded as essentially necessary in the activities of living organisms because of being important constituents of biomembranes.


Relief of Dry Skin:
Normal human horny layer contains from 10 to 30% moisture. When the moisture content in the horny layer is lowered to 10% or below due to some external reasons, the skin becomes less elastic, coarse and chapped. Such conditions may be relieved not merely by applying fats or oils to the skin but by feeding something capable of maintaining the moisture in the horny layer.

Relief of Aging & Atopic Dermatitis:
It is reported that ceramides contained in the horny layer are decreased when skin becomes more and more dried up through the progress of aging or the onset of atopic dermatitis.

Comparison with other Moisturizing components:
(1) Collagen and moisturizing: It is said that collagen which is a structural protein amounting to 70% of the corium, contributes tothe "tension" and elasticity of the skin.
(2) Hyaluronic acid and moisturizing: Hyaluronic acid which is known as a water soluble component of the skin, has been widely employed as a moisturizer in cosmetics.
(3) Ceramides and moisturizing: Recently, it is reported that not only water soluble moisturizing components but also intercellular lipids (i.e. ceramides) play important roles in moisturizing the skin.


It is in the form of a brown, viscous oil having the characteristic smell of germ oil.

(1) It is completely made from wheat produced in Japan.
(2) It contains at least 6% of glycolipids including ceramides.
** The content of the ceramides in the glycolipids is not specified because no method hs been established for analyzing the content.
(3) It contains wheat germ oil as the major component (content: approx. 90%)

(1) Moisturizing: When the moisture contnet in the human horny layer is determined by using a high frequency transmission moisture meter, it is found that an obvious moisturizing effect can be achieved by applying this product.
(2) Inhibition of collagenase: Collagen which is the major component of the corium is decomposed by an enzyme called collagenase. By adding this product, the collagenase activity is inhibited and thus collagen is stabilized.
(3) Suppression of POV(peroxide value): It is confirmed by a model experiment that an increase in POV can be suppressed by adding this product to foods and cosmetics.

Application Examples:
(1) To Cosmetics: In accordance with the Standards for Cosmetic Component Descriptions, wheat germ oil (Component Code 522034), it is widely usable in creams, milky lotions, gels, lotions, shapoos, etc.
(2) To Foods: It is applicale to soft capsules, drinks, yoghurts, jellies, gummy candies, candies, baked products such as breads, doughnuts, cakes and cookies, creams, etc.


Component Code No.522034
Acid value.............. not more than 10
Saponification value.... 180 to 200
Iodine value............ 115 to 140
Unsaponifiable matter value......not more than 6%
Heavy metals............ not more than 20 ppm
Arsenic................. not more than 2 ppm
Glycolipids............. more than 6%
Bacteriological assays:
Standard plate count ... less than 1000 cfu/g
Coliforms .............. negative
Agricultural chemicals - fenitrothion/malathion..... not detected

SPECIFICATIONS for Wheat Germ Extract Powder

Color................... light yellow to yellow powder
Moisture................ not more than 7%
Heavy metals (AS Pb).... not more than 20 ppm
Arsenic................. not more than 2 ppm
pH...................... 5.0 to 7.0
Bacteriological assays:
Standard plate count ... less than 1000 cfu/g
Coliforms .............. negative
Ash..................... less than 6%