SEP 03, 2015 01:30 PM PDT

Challenges of Natural Preservative Application

Presented At Microbiology
  • Advanced Testing Laboratory of Cincinnati Ohio
      Philip A. Geis is a native Texan who earned bachelor and doctor of philosophy degrees in microbiology and mycology from The University of Texas. Between these efforts, he served in the US Army with final duty as clinical microbiologist for the Army's 45th field hospital APO 09221. Phil joined The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) in 1981 as divisional microbiologist for product quality, disinfectant development and study of household and skin microbial ecologies. His subsequent work as scientist and manager focused on preservation, method development, design and operation of sanitary manufacturing systems and microbial ecologies associated with underarm odor, dandruff, toilet soils and bathroom mildew. Through his career, Dr. Geis managed microbiology efforts for cosmetics, OTC drugs, household products and beverage and food business units of P&G.He also carried hard surface cleaner technical brand management responsibilities and is co-inventor for a number of domestic and international patents In addition, Dr. Geis managed federal and state regulatory and environmental affairs.In 2011 Phil retired from P&G and founded Geis Microbiological Quality in affiliation with biological sciences and advisory services of the Advanced Testing Laboratory of Cincinnati Ohio.He is an international consultant for microbiological quality of OTC drug, cosmetic, household and industrial products and cultural properties.He is also an instructor for the Microbiology and Cell Science Department of the University of Florida.

      Dr. Geis has published numerous chapters and papers and lectured on subjects of applied microbiology. He was responsible for Cosmetic Microbiology: A Practical Handbook 2nd edition and is currently an editor for the journal International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation.He is emeritus member of both the American Society for Microbiology and the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology and a fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science. Dr. Geis brings unique global technical and applied expertise and experience in diverse regulatory, manufacturing, product quality and consumer realities to the subject of microbiological quality.


    Natural preservation is often cited as effective and “safe” alternative to traditional synthetic preservative systems. However, the so-called natural preservatives bring a number of challenges. Some such as cost and limited efficacy are obvious and can be readily determined. Others including accuracy of “natural” claim, regulatory compliance, safety, composition and consistency, impact on product perfume and color, practical efficacy and even social and environmental impact of expanding supply are not so obvious. All must be understood and appropriately addressed to apply successfully this proposed alternative means of microbiological protection.

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