The clean and environmentally friendly CO2 extraction method used by FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH to extract herbs and spices uses natural carbon dioxide of volcanic origin as a solvent. At pressures of up to 500 bar and temperatures of only 40–50°C in most cases, the sensitive bioactive compounds of the plant material, such as antioxidants, natural flavours, essential oils and special fatty oils are preserved in the inert CO2 atmosphere.

CO2 extracts are free of solvents, inorganic salts, heavy metals and polar components such as polysaccharides and proteins and thus free of typical food allergens. Due to their composition and consistency, CO2 extracts can be easily standardised with vegetable oils and are suitable for versatile applications in food, dietary supplements and cosmetics. The extracts are germfree, do not require preservatives, and are characterised by a long shelf life. Some extracts, such as antioxidant extracts from rosemary and sage, can support the stabilisation of final products. For natural colouring, certified organic paprika and carrot extracts with high levels of carotenoids are suitable. They are largely heat-stable during processing and are not affected by the pH of the formulation. The availability already in kilogram scale is beneficial for international customers, who can choose from over one hundred products.

Curcuma longa

Curcuma is often used for food colouring, but a special feature is that the CO2 extract contains only traces of the yellow curcumins as they hardly dissolve in supercritical CO2. Therefore, the extract is highly valued for seasoning without affecting the colour of the formulation.

Curcuma xanthorrhiza

The antimicrobial effect of Javanese turmeric and its essential oil is popular in natural oral care products, but this effect is also beneficial for food products. The decent taste of Curcuma xanthorrhiza enhances spicy or nutty notes. Similar to Curcuma longa, the extract has practically no colouring effect.


Ginger, with its high content of flavour and pungent compounds, is well known in traditional medicine and as food ingredient. FLAVEX offers different selective and total CO2 extracts with altered proportions of active ingredients, for example in essential oils and gingerols. A ginger hot flavour extract for use in food products and food supplements is also available. It contains mainly the pungent compounds and less than 5% essential oil.


The oil-soluble, organic certified paprika extract with 40,000 colour units provides an attractive orange-red colour and paprika aroma. It is largely heat stable during production and not impacted by the pH-value of the formulation. Due to its low content of capsaicinoids, it is suitable not only for savoury products such as meat products or seasonings, but also for coloured fruits, dairy products and confectionery.

Declaration and certification

Most of the genuine CO2 extracts can be declared as natural flavouring substances according to the aroma regulation (EC) No. 1334/2008. Flavouring preparations are exempt from the Novel Food Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 and do not require approval if the raw materials have food status. FLAVEX also produces an extensive range of CO2 extracts in certified organic quality. Most products are vegan and kosher or halal certified.