Elderberry falls squarely in the category of superfoods. Every part of the plant (flowers, berries, and bark) is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and other compounds. However, cyanide in the plant could be lethal if consumed raw, making elderberry extraction processing complex.
Tell us about your production challenge
Alternate the temperatures during freeze-drying to produce larger crystals
The bioactive compounds in elderberry are sensitive to heat and may become unstable in solvent mixtures. By sublimating the material during lyophilization with a freeze-dryer, you isolate the more sensitive natural substances to a finer degree.
Cool the material below its triple point, the lowest temperature at which liquid and solid phases may coexist. This will cause sublimation in subsequent phases rather than melting. Larger crystals freeze-dry more evenly. To produce larger crystals, cycle the temperature up and down.
Apply solvents with a high dielectric constant for Microwave-assisted extraction
Microwave-assisted extraction requires a shorter extraction time than traditional processes while using less solvent. Microwave radiation heats the plant material, directly breaching the substrate’s cell wall.
The compounds escape into the solvent while any leftover moisture evaporates by the generated heat. Their high dielectric constant and microwave absorption capacity make acetone, glycerin, and ethanol suitable MAE solvents.
Anthocyanin stability determines the quality of the elderberry extraction process
The quality of elderberry extracts is measured by the high stability of anthocyanins and a low degree of microbial impurities. The anthocyanins and other flavonoids cause an antioxidant effect by reducing free radicals in the body.
Elderberries also host a range of microbes that may be pathological. But the microbial content in elderberry extracts is typically low.
Sucrose alternatives in elderberry extract processing
Extra-fine granulated sucrose has a high water retention rate that gives elderberry gummies structure. Besides sweetness, it adds the plasticity and bulk that give gummies their chewy mouthfeel.
But a trend away from sugar ingredients means that formulations rely on polyols to achieve the same texture. Most polyols, such as hydrogenated starch hydrolyzates, have a high affinity for water and require a higher gelatin concentration than in sucrose-based recipes.