According to the American Chemical Society, waste cooking oil from restaurant fryers could be the source of the next cutting edge cosmetic ingredient.
A report by researcher Vishal Shaw in the upcoming April 9 issue of Biotechnology Progress says that cooking oil can be used to produce biosurfactants that can help regenerate damaged skin. According to Shaw et. al, United States restaurants generate about 25 billion gallons of waste cooking oil, or yellow grease each week. Tests have shown that this grease can be transformed into chemicals known as sophorolipids that can be used in cosmetics and, interestingly, to clean fruits and vegetables.