Supercritical extracts are composed of lipophilic constituents. They represent the group of secondary plant metabolites; this can be an essential oil that has a typical composition, depending on the plant or other specific constituents like faradiol esters in Calendula, capsaicins in chili, gingerols in ginger or diterpene phenols in rosemary. CO2 extracts are therefore typical for the botanical feedstock, whereas polar extracts contain polysaccharides, tannins, flavonoids or proteins - each representing a group of molecules that are found in different compositions across all botanicals.
Supercritical extracts are free of solvent residues and eligible for organic certification. They are sterile and do not need any preservation, since they do not contain water, polysaccharides and proteins. This contributes to a long shelf life, and they are also gluten-free and practically free from heavy metals, which are insoluble in supercritical CO2.
Genuine extracts do not contain any additives, but are composed exclusively of extracted substances. They are effective in small doses due to the high concentration. Standardisation, if desired, is made possible through the addition of vegetable oil. Supercritical extracts therefore offer simple and clean label declaration. This applies to the fields of food, food supplements or cosmetics, where they provide flavours or are used as active ingredients with anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and anti-ageing efficacy.
Traceability is a sensitive point when there is a complex supply chain. If many parties are involved, the risk of accidental or economically motivated adulteration increases due to distributed responsibility.
Flavex's vertical integration means it has full control of its supply chain. The company's starting point is the long-term relationship it has with audited, trustworthy herb suppliers, as well as its own projects for selecting, breading and cultivating high-quality botanicals and indigenous cultivars. Everything else, from production to supply, is realised under one roof at its site in Germany, where all of its products are developed, specified, manufactured, analysed and delivered directly to industrial downstream users all over the world.
Flavex holds several third-party certifications, which provide the fundament for product quality. The business has more than 30 years of know-how in high-pressure plant technology, phytochemistry and the analysis of herbal extracts with complex natural compositions. Its modern laboratory provides valuable information on extract composition, regulatory compliance, in-process controls and stability tests. The company also works hard on research and development, ensuring transparent and traceable documentation, training its employees, and providing statistics of key performance data for risk assessment and the verification of value chain processes. Each year, about 1,500t of dried plant materials are processed to provide more than 100 types of the finest concentrated extracts, which are supplied from stock. Flavex is pleased to support its clients' developments by providing samples and more information.