What is Trehalose?

Trehalose is a sugar found in plants, fungi and invertebrate animals and is used in cosmetics and personal care products as a skin conditioning agent that increases water content of the top layers of the skin by drawing moisture from the surrounding air. Trehalose is frequently used in the cosmetic sector, because it has high moisture-retaining property. Apparently, the only basis for its use in cosmetics is that trehalose is reputed to inhibit oxidation of certain fatty acids in vitro that might be related to body odor. It is FDA approved and has received the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating. To improve trehalose lipophilicity, trehalose was regioselectively esterified with vinyl fatty acid esters in dimethyl formamide by protease from Bacillus subtilis to give 6-O-lauroyltrehalose, 6-O-myristoyltrehalose, 6-O-palmitoyltrehalose, 6-O-stearoyltrehalose, 6-O-oleoyltrehalose and 6-O-linoleoyltrehalose.