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Fractionation is a separation process in which a mixture is split up into fractions with different compositions. In a typical situation, a mixture, like for instance a plant extract, contains diverse components of which only a few are of interest. The actives usualy have applications in the Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical or Cosmetics fields. The remaining products are at least inactive and sometimes unpleasant, toxic or even antagonistic. The fractionation process will separate the active product from those other ones.

The fractionation process is based on the selective adsorption of dissimilar compounds on a solid phase. Each product has a different affinity for the solid phase so that they are more or less retained and separation can be performed. The solid phase is an adsorbent resin in bead form with very big surface area.

To ilustrate this technology, we have designed a process for the fractionation of Echinacea purpurea extract. E. purpurea has many interesting compounds, like polysacharides, betaine, caftaric and chicoric acids and alkamides. All these groups of compounds are separated and can be used as actives for different applications like antioxidants, hyaluronidase inhibitory activity, skin whitening effect, immunomodulation effect, etc.

The resin can be reused many times. The fractionation process can be applied to many different extracts using the same set-up. The process is easily scaleable to industrial quantities.

Kessels SA transfers this technology in a stepwise manner so that you can develop your own fractionation processes. The transfer includes the know-how, a miniplant with a 3 to 5 L resin column and the design and commissioning of an industrial plant or running the process for you in an external plant.

For more information, contact us.