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  • Jason Edwards

Extraction is the Key

Herbs most often need extraction to be beneficial, but how many formulators really look at how their herbs are extracted?

What is extraction?

Extraction is used to free the phytochemicals from the starch and fiber of the plant. Each type of compound and plant has a best type of extraction and every formulator is looking for the active compounds that will give them the effects they are looking for, and the key is to find the best extraction method for the compounds you are seeking.

Take turmeric for example, we are often asked about curcumin which is a class of chemicals in turmeric that is alcohol soluble, so you can soak it in water all day and almost no curcuminoids will come out. Also in the turmeric rhizome is a class of chemicals called turmerones, which are lipid soluble (or fat soluble) so only extraction methods that work on lipids will get those compounds out (not alcohol).

The right process gives the right compounds, but we also must be mindful of harsh chemical solvents like hexane and acetate which are commonly used. These solvents, while commonly used and not usually promoted by manufacturers. Imagine a marketing slide in a presentation to an organic grocery chain, proudly saying "we use hexane to extract our turmeric". That is not likely to happen and it is unlikely to help close the deal, but a slide that discusses the benefits of CO2 extraction (a chemical free low temperature process) can show that you are focused on a cleaner product and involved in the full process of supply.

We use the appropriate technology for extracting the actives and we stay away from chemical solvents so you can make the best products in the world.

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