Milestone microwave extraction of natural products
Milestone has developed the new ETHOS X for the Microwave Green Extraction of Natural Products. Available in two different and interchangeable configurations, for fragrances and for flavours, the ETHOS X takes advantage of the unique microwave selective heating mechanism.
The Fragrances configuration is based on the solvent-free microwave extraction (SFME) technology for the rapid extraction of essential oils from aromatic herbs, spices and dry seeds, developed at the Laboratory of Chemistry of Natural Substances and Food Sciences at the Université de la Réunion, France resulting in a partnership that lead to the grant of the European patents EP 1 439 218, EP 1 618 798 and EP 1 629 725.
The ETHOS X performs solvent-free microwave extraction at atmospheric pressure of fragrances, such as essential oils, in plant material. The method involves placing the sample in the microwave reactor, without any added solvent or water. A cooling system outside the microwave continuously condenses the vapours that are collected in a dedicated fragrances glassware. The excess of water is refluxed back to the extraction vessel to restore the in-situ water of the sample.
Once the essential oils have been extracted, they can be analysed directly by GCMS without any preliminary clean-up or solvent extraction steps. High quality fragrances are obtained without residual solvents, contaminants and artefacts.
- Green chemistry
- Fast extraction
- No work-up
- High extracts purity
- No thermal degradation
CANNABIS terpene extraction configuration
The extraction system allows quick heating of the cannabis material for terpene isolation and selectively extracts the terpenes without compromising the subsequent cannabinoid extraction step. Unlike conventional techniques, the system offers fresh cannabis extraction ensuring most complete and representative terpene profile and maintaining its natural flavour and aroma.
Solvent-free extraction process takes only a few minutes and prevents any thermal degradation often noticed during use of conventional extraction methods. The fresh and characteristic taste of strain-specific cannabis is maintained and high-quality terpenes are assured.
- Solvent-free extraction
- Shorter run times
- Highest quality of terpenes
- Scalable productivity with flexible configuration
The microwave hydro-diffusion and gravity technology (MHG) is an original “upside down” microwave system, combining microwave heating with gravity at atmospheric pressure. This technology allows the flavours to diffuse outside the plant material and drop by gravity out of the microwave reactor. A cooling system outside the microwave oven continuously condenses the extract.
The extraction process takes place in less than 30 minutes without the need of distillation and evaporation thus eliminating any production of artefacts. Once the essential oils have been extracted, they can be analysed directly by GCMS without any preliminary clean-up or solvent exchange steps. A library based on the MHG technology is now available that includes sample preparation programs and analytical data.
The Flavours configuration allows the microwave extraction of natural flavouring substances and non-volatile compounds such as pigments, flavonoids and carotenoids.
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Scale-up of microwave assisted extraction
The ETHOS XL has been designed to process large volumes of botanical material through a simplified workflow. The process starts with the loading of the material into bags and then into the drum of the system that automatically loads the water into the bottom of the cavity and starts the heating process. The high microwave power along with the dedicated heating pads ensure that the distillation conditions are quickly reached. The temperature sensor controls the entire process to maximize the extraction efficiency and to ensure reproducibility. At the competition of the run, the extracts are being separated from the water in the dedicated burette, so that the operator can easily collect the extract.
The distillation flow temperature sensors are in a continuous dialogue with the user interface to control the extraction process which results in a high yield and quality of the extract. The 45 L rotating drum accommodates large volumes of samples for larger scale oil production and the built-in water bath along with the rotating mechanism improve the extraction efficiency and the quality of the oils.
The combination of microwave and conventional heating results in a short extraction process. While microwaves act directly on the extraction material, the heating pads on the cavity walls shorten the warm up time of the system and facilitate the distillation flow. The distillation flow temperature sensors are in a continuous dialogue with the userinterface to control the extraction process which results in a high yield and quality of the extract.