In my recent posts, I have spoken about the misinformation regarding vitamin C. While I was researching this subject and from my own experience and science background, I was confounded by the many explanations of extraction techniques and how some made no sense at all.
I’ve come to the conclusion that if you haven’t got a background in science or developed an extract technique you should never claim you have.
I have spoken at length about the extraction techniques of percolation, maceration and powders in previous posts so I won’t cover these in this post, but I would like to discuss solvent, Co2 and cellular extraction.
Solvent and Co2 extraction are used to extract lipid or oil soluble nutrients from plant material. Solvent extraction uses volatile synthetic compounds such as ethyl acetate, diethyl ether, dichloromethane and chloroform to solubilise plant components such as essential oils to remove them from the plants structure. The solvent is then vacuum evaporated leaving the essential oil. Most essential oils called absolutes are created from solvent extraction.
Co2 extraction uses liquid carbon dioxide (Co2) to solubilise fats and oils from the plant structure. It is believed that this extraction method gives a product which is botanically identical to what is in the plant when compared to steam distillation and solvent extraction products of the same plant material. There are some vegetable / seed oils such as rosehip oil that are marketed as a better product compared to cold pressing (which is the standard practice). From my research Co2 oils do have a greater fat content and higher peroxide content compared to cold pressing. This is a good example of not understanding an extraction technique or what is produced.
Cellular extraction is a water-soluble extraction of cells in plants. The description that is sometimes given of ‘breaking through the cell wall and extracting the contents of the cell’ is not an informed or accurate description. It is a good example of not understanding an extraction technique nor the applicable science. If you penetrate a cell wall the contents of it will disperse very quickly and break down. Cellular extraction in its true form would contain all the components found in plant cells including nucleus, cell membrane, cytoplasm and mitochondria. Many that cite ‘cellular extraction’ are not aware that phyto-nutrients in plants are not found within the cells.
Not everything you read can be backed up with science.