Melanin is a group of natural pigments found in most organisms and a complex polymer derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Melanin provides photoprotection from UV radiations by absorbing from the electromagnetic spectrum, also effective against chemical stress and high temperature. Due to these properties, it is used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. For instance, as antitumor, scavengers of free radicals, antimicrobial, neuroprotector, synthesizer of nanoparticles, remediator of radioactive residuals, antivenin stimulator, liver protectant, anti-inflammatory, and protector of the digestive system.

Melanin is used in beauty and cosmetics, especially in photoprotective-based creams that are utilized to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation , X-ray, and γ-ray, and in optical lenses as eye protectants. Most organisms are exposed to UV radiation propagating on the Earth's surface, and the potential damage from UV radiation increases exponentially with decreasing wavelength. Sunburn, skin aging, skin malignancies, etc. are associated with UV radiation exposure.

Melanin is produced either as a Natural or Synthetic ingredient.

Natural refers to melanin produced by isolation and extraction from living things, such as animals, plants and microorganisms. The largest producers are marine cephalopods, which is expelled out by Sepia as a defense strategy against their adversaries. Plants are another source, in which the vegetable melanin are obtained by a chemically treated process, whereby a vegetable crude material-containing polymers or monomeric units of the flavonoids is processed to extract melanin. Another key source of melanin is microorganisms (bacteria and fungus).

Synthetic refers to the production of melanin through chemical synthesis. In chemical synthesis, polydopamine, which shares some properties with natural melanin due to their similar functional groups such as catechol, amine and imine groups, is synthesized via oxidative polymerization of dopamine.

The HBS scientific team have developed and tested and delivered an outstanding Melanin product. This extends HBS product offering, well beyond that of the obvious base products. We are excited about future scientific development and the truly amazing opportunities that the Black Soldier Fly presents to a Circular Economy.