Tiens Keep Eyes on Technology Innovation of Natural Ingredients
On the China Natural Ingredient Conference 2015, Dr. Shang Xiaoyu, director of Health Care Products Development Department of the Research Institute of Tiens Group, shares with us some innovative application of natural ingredients.
Tiens Group is specialized in the light industry businesses of health care foods, as well as cosmetics, household products and health care instruments, with health care foods contributing 85% of the total sales.

Industrial Development Promoted by New Technologies
1. Micro-assisted Processing(MAP) Technology
Radient Company adopts the MAP technology to selectively heat moisture in the plant ingredients to extract components needed. MAP is applicable to various solvents, including ethanol, ethane and propanol, but excluding highly moisture or polar solvent. Besides, this technology can also be adopted for various ingredients, such as plant, alga, fungus and microorganism. For target components, MAP cannot be used to extract protein, carbohydrate and nucleic acid. MAP technology can shorten the extraction time from hours to minutes, thus greatly improving the output and saving the cost.
Director Shang introduces that MAP is not a totally new method as having been used in the labs for years. However, while there’s few any report on the application of MAP in herbal extraction in China, only Radient can put MAP technology in massive use in the world.
2. EFLA HyperPure Technology
Frutarom developed the EFLA HyperPure technology in 2012, a safe and effective technology that has passed the Jewish certificate. This technology can separate unnecessary components through a special filtration process, and maintain pure, stable plant active ingredients without use of any solvent. Most core products made by this company are produced through this technology, including olive leaves and purslane. Importantly, this technology has been successfully used in Swiss pharmaceutical factories.
3. Subcritical Fluid Low Temperature Extraction Technology
Subcritical fluid low temperature extraction technology is based on the theory of “Like dissolves like”. Put materials into the extraction jar and pour in subcritical fluid for counter-current extraction, and extract components required at certain material-solution ratio, extraction temperature, extraction time, extraction pressure, extraction agent and entrainer. After separation between solid and liquid phases, liquid phase enters the evaporation system to evaporate the solvent and leave the extract, and is further processed into pure oil. Solvent evaporated from the solid and liquid phases will be used repetitively after compressed liquidation.
Subcritical liquid extraction method has such advantages over other methods as: nontoxic, harmless, environmentally friendly, pollution free, low working pressure, moderate extraction condition, none destruction or oxidation to active components, great capacity to enable massive production, energy saving, low cost of operation, and easy to separate from the outcome. Thus, the subcritical fluid extraction and separation technology has wide application prospect in extraction of effective components of animals and plants, active components of TCM(compound included), insect extracts, natural pigment and special greases, separation of harmful liposoluble constituents, and degreasing of various plant powders.
4. Subcritical Water Extraction Technology
As the newly developed technology, subcritical water extraction was first used for extraction of organic pollutants from environmental samples such as soil, sediment and mud. In 1998, Basile of the UK used super-heated water to extract volatile oil in the rosemary leaves for the first time. Afterwards, it has gradually been used in extraction of other natural ingredients and foods. Due to the clear technological advantage, this technology develops quickly as a new method to extract effective components from natural ingredients.
This technology features selective extraction of different organics through program-controlled temperature rise. In higher temperature, the water viscosity decreases to permeate the extract matrix more easily, thus improving the extract efficiency. Certain pressure is needed for this technology to keep water at a liquid state under the subcritical temperature. An apparent impact made by pressure is on the state of extraction agent. Gaseous water has higher extraction efficiency as compared with liquid water, which rises to the increase in temperature. As an extraction agent, water’s biggest feature is continuity in extraction. Through temperature change, continuous extraction of water-soluble components to grease-soluble components can be realized in the samples.
5. Cool Extraction IP Technology
Developed by Phytonext of Holland as similar with super-critical CO2 technology, this technology requires milder conditions and processes.
This technology features a better selection of extraction, non-acidulated extraction, low pressure and low energy consumption.
6. Semi-bionic Extraction
Proposed by Zhang Zhaowang and Sun Xiumei of Shandong University of TCM, the semi-bionic extraction is still under improvement. While there’re many researches carried out for the semi-bionic extraction method in China, seldom any is done overseas.
From a biopharmaceutical perspective, this method combines the generic and molecular medicine research methods and mimics the environment for transfer and absorption through intestinal tract by oral medicines to realize an oriented separation. Also, this is a new extraction process designed for oral preparations through the digestive tract.
Currently, the semi-bionic extraction method is still decocted at high temperature, which is prone to impact the effective, active components and reduce drug function. Thus, some scholars suggest the extraction temperature be changed into the temperature of human bodies, and active components simulating the digestive enzyme in human bodies be added to the extraction liquid, thus making the extraction process closer to the medicine’s transfer and absorption process in people’s intestinal tract and more compliant with the syndrome differentiation and treatment in the TCM theory.
There’re also other extraction technologies such as dynamic counter-current extraction, molecular evaporation technology, and film separation concentration technology.
New Applications Accelerate Development of Health Industry
Spinach Extract
Unable to be directly digested by human bodies, the spinach, with its thylakoid contributed to slowing down the fat digestion to involve all intestinal tract in the digestion process, has to be smashed and filtered to separate the thylakoid to take the effect.
Soybean Extract
South Korea’s Rural Area Revitalization Bureau says, they have proved by experiments that extract from soybean sprout germ can help improve female osteoporosis and hyperlipidemia at their menopause as researched and developed based on sprout of soybean by-products.
Onion Extract
Used in combination with anti-diabetic medicine melbine, onion extract can greatly lower the blood pressure and total cholesterol level of the diabetic rat.
Resveratrol can greatly reduce rejection reaction after surgery for liver cancer and liver transplantation, and adjust the hypofunction of immune system and immune defect.
Yellow Paint
Yellow paint is commonly used as a traditional medicine in South Korea. As revealed by research, yellow paint extract can lower the total cholesterol level, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterin level.
GABA(gamma-aminobutyric acid)
GABA is an ideal health care food and medicine for geriatric diseases. Daily intake of 30-100mg GABA will greatly contribute to the health care.
PS can promote the growth of infant brains, improve the ADHD, supply nutrition to the brain to enhance study quality, reduce the increase in cortisol as incurred by exercise, stabilize emotion and improve the depression.
Prospect for Natural Ingredients
Natural ingredients cored by plant extracts serve as TCM source for disease prevention and treatment. While all traditional medicines in the world originate from natural substances, over 30% of modern chemical medicines have natural ingredients and more are produced through structural modification and reform with natural ingredients as lead compound.
When natural ingredient industry is increasingly concentrated, the technological content and quality of the product will be further improved. Also, the industrial policies, management specifications and standard systems will be further improved to give an undivided, premium development for plant extracts.
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