Only one percent of the entire plant species on the planet produces essential oils, but that amount has found its way into various products, from perfumes to foods. Flower extraction systems are similarly diverse, and picking the right ones depends on the organic material and the final product.
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Apply volatile solvents to extract oils from fragile flowers
Conventional steam extraction methods can thermally destabilize delicate flower materials such as tuberose, hyacinth, or jasmine. On the other hand, flower extraction systems by solvent,
on the other hand, are performed at low and uniform temperatures that preserve the oils.
Use volatiles such as hexane and petroleum to evaporate the solvents out of the essential oil filtrate and concentrate the extract into a resinoid or concrete.
Pressurize carbon dioxide to above its supercritical point in supercritical fluid extraction
Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is emerging as an alternative flower extraction process. The technique heats fluids above their critical temperatures to diffuse through the flower walls and dissolve the target oils.
CO2 is a typical substance in SFE because it is inert and transforms into liquids under high pressure. Under normal atmospheric pressure and temperatures, the fluid reverts to a gas and evaporates, leaving no solvent behind in the final completed product.
Use silica gel in adsorbent chromatography to separate oils
Conventional hydrodistillation techniques require further separation of oils from the extracted compounds.
Column chromatography typically uses silica gel as an adsorbent to perform this process. As a polar absorbent, silica gel has a higher retention rate for other materials with a polar profile, like essential oils.
Coumarin extract in pharmacological applications
Flowers have a high concentration of coumarin. The extract offers antioxidant and antibacterial properties, making it a substance of pharmacological interest.
Among other applications, coumarin is used to treat ailments from cancer to thrombosis to leukemia. The compound is also used to counteract the side effects of radiotherapy.