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A Singapore SME has developed a faster and more sustainable column-less plant extraction method that is liquid-to-liquid and non-ethanol based and optimises the yield of bioactives from botanicals with zero waste.
Suited for the food/ agricultural industry and research institutes, it can offer Halal-certifiable, mass market access to high purity plant extracts at low production costs.
The SME seeks licensing/commercial partnerships with technical assistance with MNEs/SMEs of all sizes.
The Singapore SME, specialising in plant-based nutraceutical and biomedical product development, has developed a column-less plant extraction method that is liquid to liquid, and does not use ethanol. This method optimises the bioactive yield from plants, and allows for continuous cyclical extraction that enables a scalable manufacturing process.
The combination of expert formulations of additives with optimised extraction parameters are the drivers behind this extraction technology that is sustainable and high purity, with low production costs.
Currently, column chromatography is the industry standard that uses ethanol as a solvent to extract plant-based bioactives or phytochemical compounds. In contrast, using this new column-less technology can address two key challenges in the food industry:
• High cost and complexity of current column chromatography based extraction that limits mass market access to quality plant extracts
• High wastage of food processing side-streams in the food processing and agricultural industry. Currently, high-cost energy is used to dry up these side-streams into low-value animal feed and fertilizers.
This column-less approach offers zero-waste processing as it extracts the volatile components of botanicals after the extracting minute amounts of non-volatile bioactives. This offers the benefit deriving two or more products through one process, with minimal or even zero waste generation. This methodology is also able to recover plant proteins or soluble fibre, from spent grains and homogenous plant waste, which can be transformed into high value functional ingredients.
The continuous cyclical extraction methodology has been validated with a one-tonne production scale that yielded plant extracts of higher bioactive purity at a fraction of current production time and cost.
The technology has already been used to provide R&D services to customers who need quality assured or small batches of novel phytochemical for R&D, or to transform their spent grains into high value functional plant ingredients.
This technology can help meet the following trends:
• Consumer demand for sustainable food production with zero waste generation
• Consumer demand for plant-based diets, functional products, and alternate/clean meat
• Ageing population with a demand for mass market functional ingredients that suit local taste and preference
The SME is keen to establish the following types of partnerships with MNEs or SMEs of all sizes:
i) Licensing agreement where the partner could license the technology and further develop it to introduce it to its customers.
ii) Commercial agreement with technical assistance where the Singapore SME would provide support in the column-less plant extraction process.
This column-less plant extraction technology is suitable for a scalable manufacturing process. In turn, this offers mass market access to quality plant extracts that are of a higher purity, with low production costs.
For the Food and Agricultural industry, this technology offers the following advantages and innovations:
• Efficient extraction of phytochemicals from agricultural waste (e.g. palm kernels)
• Economical means of valorising food process side-streams and agricultural plant waste into animal feed or plant fertilisers
• Maximise value of food processing ‘waste' such as spent grains by efficiently transforming the ‘waste' into high-value, mass market friendly functional plant ingredients
• Economical source of functional plant ingredients to meet growing consumer demand for sustainable, plant based, functional food and supplements
• Economical source of plant protein/soluble and dietary fibre to develop alternate meat, or as nutrients for clean meat
For the Food/Supplement/Pharma industry/Research Institutes, this technology offers the following advantages and innovations:
• Enables development of novel phytochemical from botanicals with small batch extractions of quality assured novel bioactive for R&D and market testing.
• Supply of high-quality, mass-market, cost-friendly phytochemical ingredients for functional food/plant based supplements
• Halal certifiable plant extracts offer access to the large global 1.7 billion Muslim population, as a food-grade, non-ethanol based solvent is used
The Singapore SME is interested in the the following types of partnerships with MNEs or SMEs of all sizes:
i) Licensing agreement - The partner could license the technology for further development and introduce it to its customers.
ii) Commercial agreement with technical assistance - The partner could utilise the column-less plant extraction process with technical support from the Singapore SME.