PEF for Production of Plant Extracts

Product Examples: Herbal extracts, flavor extracts, antioxidants, natural pigments, natural food colors.
Aim of PEF Treatment: Cell disintegration, structure modification, stress induction in plant cells to increase concentrations of functional components in extracts, microbial inactivation.

Beneficial for Heat-Sensitive Compounds

Traditional thermal processes often negatively affect the physiological, nutritional, sensory, and sometimes functional properties of raw materials. PEF’s ability to inactivate microorganisms and disrupt cellular material at low to moderate temperatures is advantageous when processing heat-sensitive bioactive compounds and ingredients found in the biological tissue of plants, herbs, roots, grasses, and leaves.

Improved Extraction

PEF treatment, by permeabilizing cell membranes, facilitates tissue softening and enhanced mass transport. This leads to improved extraction of compounds like anthocyanins from cranberries and lycopene from tomatoes. Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment responsible for the red color in tomatoes.

Making Tough Produce Processable

Targeted structural modification with PEF allows for the processing of new raw materials for plant extracts. Tough and inconsistent produce such as sweet potatoes, turnips, and beetroot become easily processable with PEF. Refer to: Vegetable Products.

Benefits of PEF

  • Enrichment of raw materials with secondary metabolites due to PEF-induced stress.
  • Targeted and controlled structural modification through cell membrane permeabilization.
  • Enhanced handling due to tissue softening.
  • Improved extraction and refining efficiency.
  • Increased process capacity.
  • Retention of vitamins, minerals, pigments, antioxidants, and flavors.
  • Reduced energy consumption.

More Information

Pulsemaster has developed industrial-scale equipment, named Conditioner, with treatment capacities up to 5,000 liters per hour (1320 US gallons per hour) for microbial inactivation and up to 50,000 kilograms per hour (110,000 pounds per hour) for cell disintegration.

PEF + Plant Extracts?