DHA is primarily used as an ingredient in sunless tanning products. It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, and by the fermentation of glycerin. Other applications include:
DHA was first recognized as a skin coloring agent by German scientists in the 1920s. Through its use in the X-ray process, it was noted as causing the skin surface to turn brown when spilled.
In the 1950s, Eva Wittgenstein at the University of Cincinnati did further research with dihydroxyacetone. Her studies involved using DHA as an oral drug for assisting children with glycogen storage disease. The children received large doses of DHA by mouth, and sometimes spat or spilled the substance onto their skin. Healthcare workers noticed that the skin turned brown after a few hours of DHA exposure.
Eva Wittgenstein continued to experiment with DHA, painting liquid solutions of it onto her own skin. She was able to consistently reproduce the pigmentation effect, and noted that DHA did not appear to penetrate beyond the stratum corneum, or dead skin surface layer (the FDA eventually concluded this is not entirely true). Research then continued on DHA's skin coloring effect in relation to treatment for patients suffering from vitiligo.
This skin browning effect is non-toxic, and is a result of a Maillard reaction. DHA reacts chemically with the amino acids in the protein keratin the major component of the skin surface. Different amino acids react to DHA in different ways, producing different tones of coloration from yellow to brown. The resulting pigments are called melanoidins. These are similar in coloration to melanin, the natural substance in the deeper skin layers which brown or "tan", from exposure to UV rays.
Both acetic acid bacteria Acetobacter aceti and Gluconobacter oxydans use glycerol as a carbon source to form dihydroxyacetone. DHA is formed by ketogenesis of glycerol. It can affect the sensory quality of the wine with sweet/etherish properties. DHA can also react with proline to produce a "crust-like" aroma. Dihydroxyacetone can affect the anti-microbial activity in wine, as it has the ability to bind SO2.
Coppertone introduced the first consumer sunless tanning lotion into the marketplace in the 1960s. This product was called “Quick Tan” or “QT”. It was sold as an overnight tanning agent, and other companies followed suit with similar products. Consumers soon tired of this product due to unattractive results such as orange palms, streaking and poor coloration. Because of the QT experience, many people still associate sunless tanning with fake-looking orange tans.
In the 1970s the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added DHA permanently to their list of approved cosmetic ingredients.
By the 1980s, new sunless tanning formulations appeared on the market and refinements in the DHA manufacturing process created products that produced a more natural looking color and better fading. Consumer concerns surrounding damage associated with UV
Product : 1, 3 Dihydroxyacetone
|Synonym:||1 3 dihydroxyacetone , DHA, Glycerone|
| Appearance||White to Off White Powder|
|Residue on Ignition||%|| <0.4|
|Assay||% || >98.0|
|Heavy Metals(Pb)||ppm|| <20|
| Iron(Fe) ||ppm|| <25|
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