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CO2-Extraction

The Path to Tailor-Made Products

FLAVEX controls the entire value-chain. Starting with the selecting of the botanical raw material and its preparation through the CO2 extraction and extract conditioning, to the analysis and the final release of the extracts.

Plant Raw Materials: Top Quality Right from the Start

We source our herbal raw materials from all continents. Our goal is to support the cultivation right from the start. Identity, availability and quality are the fundamental criteria for purchasing our raw materials. Moreover, we use various supply sources to ensure that our extracts are constantly available for you.
We support long-term relationships and fair payment to farmers. In many cases, we provide farmers an advance as working capital. This enables farmers to meet our delivery requirements. Whenever possible, we support village communities and insist on a code of conduct as a basis for our collaboration. In addition, we evaluate our main suppliers with our audit program and we support them in optimizing their processes.

Our large raw material stocks is equipped with air and humidity control and regulation as well as pest monitoring.

The capacity is about 700 tons of botanical raw materials. This corresponds to nearly half of the company’s annual consumption. This increases delivery reliability and allows us to purchase raw materials at the best possible time.

Raw Materials Conditioning: Gentle Preparation - Preserving the Essence of Nature

The carefully dried raw material is cut to the required particle size and milled or additionally pelletized before production. Gentle preparation of the starting material has a decisive influence on extraction efficiency and extract quality.

CO2 - Extraction Technology: The Smart Solution

Carbon dioxide, when under pressure, is a safe solvent that leaves no residues after usage. Supercritical CO2 is a modern and welcomed substitute for traditional organic solvents.


Selective and Gentle Technology
By varying the gas density and pressure or by adding ethanol as a co-solvent, we are able to adjust the dissolving power and the selectivity to the raw material. We use high purity natural carbon dioxide of volcanic origin from our region with a pressure up to 500 bar above the critical temperature of 31°C (88°F). This gentle process extracts sensitive active substances, flavors and fragrances in an oxygen-free environment. 

 

Flexible Method for Extraordinary Quality

Using a single method, we can obtain different extracts from one raw material. In particular, we differentiate between selective extracts as a replacement for steam distillates and total extracts, comparable to hexane extracts. Supercritical CO2 extraction leads to an extraordinary quality in which sensitive components are preserved. Compared with products using other manufacturing processes, our CO2 extracts convince with their natural flavor, fresher and more authentic scent and a higher active ingredient content.

 

State-of-the-Art Equipment: Tailor-Made Solutions for your Requirements

We run several extraction machines on a laboratory, pilot and production scale. Their capacity ranges from a few kilograms to several tons of input material per day with a total of about 1400 tons of botanical raw material per year. In addition to solid material, we also extract and fractionate liquids.

The FLAVEX extraction machines represent the latest state-of-the-art and are constantly optimized, regularly maintained and inspected by supervisory authorities. The plants are equipped with the most modern control technology and this ensures a reliable extract production and reproducible results.

Here you can find a short video about CO and CO2 extraction: from raw material to extract

Video: Extraction Technology

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Extract Conditioning: Refining the Essence of Nature - The Perfect Product

The raw supercritical CO2 extract is further processed by gentle physical methods like homogenisation, filtration or centrifugation. The entire production process, including analytical in-process controls through our quality management,is performed in-house through an integrated system of specialized divisions. In doing so, different departments work hand in hand. Each individual step is traceably documented.

Analysis and Quality Control: To be on the safe Side

Our quality control is a vital part of producing authentic botanical extracts of the highest-quality. FLAVEX has its own state-of-the-art laboratory and qualified, experienced employees to analyse and evaluate raw materials and extracts.

We use conventional wet chemical methods and other modern instrumental analysis techniques. For the identification and quantification of important marker substances, FLAVEX has a wide selection of reference substances, some of which are very rare.

Our laboratory is equipped with instruments for High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography (GC). Both are equipped with different detector systems. Sensitive and selective mass spectrometry, in particular, enables the identification of substances by comparing the mass spectra of each component with different spectra databases, e.g. the NIST database.
It constitutes, therefore an important part in the analysis of plant extracts. The analysis of pesticides and contaminants is conducted by external accredited laboratories to obtain an independent evaluation of our products.

Extracts: Inspired by Nature

Our supercritical CO2 extracts contain the lipophilic components of the botanical raw materials which are usually obtained by steam distillation or organic solvent extraction. These are mainly secondary plant substances.
For example:

  • Essential oil of chamomile
  • Taraxasterols of calendula
  • Sesquiterpene lactones of arnica
  • Capsaicinoids of chili
  • Gingerols of ginger
  • Diterpene phenols of rosemary and sage

Supercritical CO2 extracts represent the specific composition of extracted raw material. They do not contain any polar components such as polysaccharides, flavonoid glycosides, polyphenols or proteins. Enrich your cosmetics, perfumes, dietary supplements and food products with their outstanding benefits.