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.

FRAGRANCES configuration

Natural products extraction of fragrancesThe 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
  • Solvent-less
  • Fast extraction
  • No work-up
  • High extracts purity
  • No thermal degradation

CANNABIS terpene extraction configuration

Terpene extraction form cannabisThe 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

FLAVOURS configuration

Natural products extraction of flavoursThe 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.

PlantYield (%)Time (min)Yield (%)Time (min)
Orange peel38.5451.9040

Scale-up of microwave assisted extraction

Natural products extraction scale upThe MAC-75 is a multimode microwave reactor for scale-up operation for extraction and infusion. The stainless steel microwave cavity has a capacity of 150 L and contains a removable, perforated rotating PTFE drum that allows up to 75 L of plant material to be loaded. The rotation ensures a homogeneous microwave distribution to the material inside the drum. The temperature is constantly monitored and the control system automatically adjusts the power delivered if absorption is too low.

Natural products extraction sample loading for scale upA maximum power of 6000W ensures efficient processes that can reduce extraction and infusion times from days to minutes.. The drum circumference is entirely perforated to allow any vapour and liquid to pass and the cavity is able to work as an open vessel or under vacuum that is useful when working with plant material. Interlocks on the door prevent accidental opening during the process or when the cavity contains liquid. The device is controlled by an industrial touch screen control terminal with an intuitive graphic user interface.


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