An extraction refers to the extraction of one or more ingredients from plant components with the help of a solvent. The extracts obtained in this way contain important active substances and ingredients that are used, among other things, for the production of food supplements and cosmetics
Fresh plant components are best used for extraction. They contain more volatile ingredients such as essential oils than dried plants. Dry plants, on the other hand, have the advantage that you can extract plants regardless of season and location. In both cases, it is important that the plant components are crushed before extraction. This increases their surface area and more ingredients are released
During extraction, plant parts are intensively mixed with solvents. This causes the ingredients to dissolve from the plant parts and pass into the solvent. The plant material is then separated from the solvent using a separation process. Finally, the extraction agent is processed with the plant ingredients in such a way that the pure ingredients are obtained in the end.
As a rule, water, alcohol or organic solvents are used as solvents. Which solvent is chosen depends mainly on how soluble the ingredient to be extracted is in the respective solvent. Fat-soluble ingredients are extracted with a more oily solvent and water-soluble ingredients with an aqueous solvent. The additional application of pressure and temperature improves the solubility of the ingredients in the solvent so that the extraction yield can be increased
Extraction as a method for obtaining ingredients for food supplements and cosmetics has the advantage of obtaining concentrated amounts of the required active ingredients. At the same time, unwanted by-products that are not soluble in the solvent can be removed. Another important advantage is that stable concentrates of the extracted ingredients can be obtained from the perishable plant parts