Extraction methods for botanical ingredients are one of the Achilles heels of the business. Water or ethanol extraction methods are gentle and safe and don’t trigger a possible need for a New Dietary Ingredient notification. But these methods may not extract as high a percentage of the active ingredients as desired, requiring more material and thus higher costs. Other solvents can be used to extract more of the actives, but these need to be removed in later processing, adding costs of their own.
The new technology, developed by Guiseppe (Joe) Mazza, PhD and developed under the aegis of his company, Mazza Innovation, uses water at 100 to 120 degrees Celsius and under relatively low pressure, around 200 psi. This keeps the water in the fluid state but also alters the water’s polarity, making it less ‘sticky,’ so to speak. According to Mazza, the technology extracts a far higher percentage of the active compounds, doing something similar for water-soluble ingredients what supercritical CO2 extraction can do for fat-soluble compounds.