I am going to deal with liquid extracts by talking about the extraction technology, then the liquids that are used in the extraction process and finally the resulting extract produced.
Maceration is an extraction process that consists of maintaining contact between the plant and a liquid (solvent) for a period of time (between four to eight weeks) conducted at room temperature. The issue with this method is that the plant material breaks down and rots, and when this happens the phyto actives also break down.
Percolation is the most common procedure for the preparation of tinctures and fluid extracts.
The percolator is a conical vessel with a top opening. A circular drilled lid allows the passing of liquid which subjects the materials placed on it to a slight pressure. The bottom has an adjustable closure to allow passage of the fluid at a convenient rate. The plant material is moistened prior to their placement in the percolator with a proper amount of liquid extractant. It’s placed in a sealed container and left to stand for approximately four hours. After that time, the plant material must be conveniently placed in the percolator to allow the even passage of fluid and the complete contact with the plant material. The percolator must be filled with liquid extractant and covered up. The bottom outlet is opened until it gets a regular dripping and then closes. More liquid extractant is added to cover all the material and must stand to soak in the percolator closed for 24 hours. The issue with this method is contact time and coverage of the plant material as many phyto actives are deep within the cellular matrix.
Extracts created by both maceration and percolation run the risk of micro bacteria contamination and preservatives must be added. Furthermore, due to either the phyto actives breaking down or not being extracted, synthetic actives are added to the extract. This process is called standardisation and is widely used in the industry.
CLECS™ (Cold Liquid Extraction Closed System) is a new technology owned and developed by Plant Extracts. CLECS™ mimics the internal process inside the plant extracting the plant nutrient protection liquid™ (PNP) which contains the phyto actives the plant produces along with the bio-key which allows the nutrients to flow into the plant cellular structure.
This extraction is done within four hours in a sealed vessel thus external contamination is reduced greatly. This new extraction technique allows Plant Extracts to produce highly active stable extracts that only contain the plant nutrients from the plant they have been extracted from.
The PNP™ and Bio-key™ technologies separate the CLECS™ from all other extraction methods delivering, for the first time, phyto actives protected from breaking down and able to be delivered into our cellular structure in their pure form quickly and efficiently.