The demand for herb and spice CO2 extracts and speciality fatty oils that are extracted by the gas is growing constantly. CO2 extracts with interesting physiological effects are giving fresh momentum to the research and development of food supplements.
CO2 extracts of spices have a much higher concentration of essential oil and bioactive/pungent compounds compared with oleoresins and conventional solvent extracts. Overall recovery of total lipophilic ingredients is also better than in solvent extracts. A good example is curcuma CO2 extract. Its essential oil contributes to its therapeutic healing properties by increasing the low bioavailability of curcuminoids and has a high concentration of bioactive turmerones.
Turmerones have demonstrated in vitro the following activities: the inhibition of NF-KB activation in TPA-induced breast cancer cells; the inhibition of key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes; anti-inflammatory effects in microglial cells; the apoptosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma; anti-inflammatory effects in amyloid ß-stimulated microglia; anti-proliferative and immunomodulatory activities; and the activation of apoptotic proteins.
CO2 extraction offers various advantages in extracting sensitive fatty oils when compared with cold-pressing and hexane extraction. With CO2, high-quality, sensitive fatty oils with a higher content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and unsaponifiable ingredients - such as carotinoids, phytosterols, tocopherols, tocotrienols and triterpenes - can be extracted gently. In comparison with hexane extraction, there are also no solvent residuals in the extract. CO2 extraction at moderate temperatures and excluding oxygen guarantees that polyunsaturated fatty acids are not oxidised during extraction.
Valuable oil seeds with oil contents of 10% or less are especially well suited to CO2 extraction, since the total oil content is extracted. Also, additional refining steps are usually not required, since undesired by-products that might compromise the extract are completely retained in the residue.
Supplements with omega-3 fatty oils can help to prevent skin diseases. For example, omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce the general risk of inflammation-related chronic conditions, which increase notably with ageing.
Some promising recent dermatological studies show that the long-term consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids keeps the skin healthy, increases the threshold value for erythema formation and protects against UV-induced genetic damage.
These fatty acids are also important for the function of cell membranes and long-term consumption reduces the risk of basal-cell skin cancer.
Clinical studies with orally administered sea buckthorn seed extract have proved its anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative effects, with demonstrable improvements to the hydration, elasticity and smoothness of skin. Organic and sustainable Flavex maintains cultivation contracts for key raw materials with selected agricultural operations in Germany, as well as in other European and non-European countries. Industrial, intensively operated agricultural production is one of the main causes of ecological and social problems, as well as the decline of biodiversity. By contrast, Flavex relies on environmentally friendly and, if possible, organic cultivation.
Through on-site supplier audits, Flavex supports its partners in sustainable production and provides advice about every aspect of cultivation. This, combined with and the firm's long-term relationships with trusted suppliers, enables it to create the conditions for socially responsible and sustainable products for every actor in the supply chain. The company is convinced that sustainability guarantees outstanding quality while offering partners a competitive advantage.
Natural extracts support the physiological and biochemical balance of a person's metabolism and skin, and thus contribute to keeping people healthy. The demand for high-quality and analytically well-documented natural extracts with a high percentage of active ingredients will therefore only increase.
Easy-to-declare active ingredients are trendy. Flavex is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and HACCP-certified, and many of its products are organic, and certified as kosher and halal. Its extracts also fulfil the criteria for all known natural cosmetic seals and standards. Flavex looks ahead to the future with great confidence.