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Reasons Why You Should Choose Membrane Extraction over Solvent Extraction for fruits and Medicinal Plants

Food synergy

Holistic membrane extract vs Monistic ethanol extract

Benefits of Mechanical Membrane vs. Solvent chemical Extraction
Fresh fruits contain a broad range of healthy micro and macronutrients. A good extraction process concentrates the phytonutrients from the fruit matrix. The membrane extraction process is best suited for this application.
Not just the botanical variety but also the extraction technologies will determine the profile of extracted compounds for nutritional or pharmacological value. So choose your extraction process carefully.

Enrich Original Compounds
Membrane extraction, a mechanical separation process, selectively enriches a wide range of nutrients from the original fruit. Additionally, aroma and taste are retained and the extract usually remains soluble. All valuable attributes for a nutritional ingredient and a clean label. Membrane extraction is described as a holistic process because the nutrient concentration resembles the original fruit Matrix.
Solvent extraction, a chemical process, is used to commercially concentrate a small group of compounds. The nominated compounds are highly concentrated and standardised for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient use. The taste and aroma molecules are denatured during solvent processing. This represents a monistic process as only a limited group of compounds are selected from the biomass to achieve high concentrations.

Synergy between Compounds
Using elderberry as a case study, Membrane extraction, in addition to enriching the polyphenols and anthocyanins, also enriches many other important micro and macro nutrients. These include vitamins like folate, minerals like magnesium and fibre.

Synergy of nutrition compounds

Adavantages of Elderberry extraction with membrane enrichment

This increases the scope and application of the extracts. In the case of elderberry, a membrane extract could be used for immune support, respiratory infections, reduce oxidative stress, cardiovascular protection and sports nutrition. An elderberry ethanol extract standardised on polyphenols would have a more narrow application related to respiratory infections and oxidative stress.

How Membrane and Ethanol Extraction Work
In simplified terms, the bulk fruit mass is pushed through tubes with tiny holes according to the size of molecules to be separated during membrane extraction. Adjusting the hole-size in each tube allows different elements to be individually separated. Sugars, phytonutrients and minerals are each collected separately then reassembled to preserve the original matrix.

Membrane extraction is a purely mechanical process and does not require heat percolation or chemical solvents.

Solvent extraction uses heat percolation, resin columns and alcohol solvents during the extraction process which eliminate many of the micronutrients to achieve high concentration of single compounds.

Iprona AG has created a range of holistic membrane extracted powders with polyphenol-rich fruits like Elderberry, Aronia, Blackcurrant and the black Nerina Strawberry.

For supplements targeted at healthy lifestyle, we recommend formulations using membrane enrichment to ensure that you are receiving all the potential micro and macro nutrients from the fruit matrix.

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