Ellagitannin Extraction from Pomegranate

  • Ellagitannins are a precursor for the age-defying compound urolithin A, which is converted from ellagitannins by the gut microbiome.
  • Ultrasonic extraction promotes the release of ellagitannins from fruit and vegetal cells to produce supplements and pharmaceuticals with a highly concentrated ellagitannin content.

Ellagitannins – The Precursor of Urolithin A

Urolithin A recently gained a lot of attention as human trials confirmed it positive effects on health and longevity. Urolithin A is produced by the microflora of the gut after ingesting compounds found in pomegranate such as ellagitannins and punicalagins. Urolithin A induces mitophagy and helps thereby recycle defective mitochondria. Since mitochondrial and cellular health declines with age, the administration of ellagitannins might be a potential new therapeutic treatment against age-related disorders. The beneficial effects were observed in C.elegans, mammalian cells, rodents, and has been successfully tested clinically in human trials. Besides its age-defying effects, ellagitannins are a highly valued substance for health due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Ellagitannins

Ultrasonic extraction system UIP4000hdTUltrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) of food products has received significant interest, since it is relatively low-cost. It overcomes the disadvantages of traditional solvent extractions and, at the same time, it provides higher quantities of extracts in the same unit of time, using smaller amounts of food-grade solvent or just water. Ultrasounds are able to mechanically break the cell walls extracting the intracellular liquids. The high power, low frequency ultrasound waves act on the molecules of a liquid medium, namely the solvent, by alternating moments of compression and moments of rarefaction on the solvent molecules. These loops of compression and expansion cycles cause the formation of voids or air bubbles that gradually grow until implosion occurs, giving rise to the phenomenon of cavitation. UAE can be used both on a small and large scale in the food extraction industry.

Ultrasonic extraction for the production of potent ellagitannin supplements

Pomegranates are rich in ellagitannins.

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Full Spectrum Extracts

Ultrasonic extraction releases the full spectrum of nutrients from vegetal cells. For the extraction of pomegranate, sonication helps to isolate ellagitannins, ellagic acids, pomegranatate, punicanolic acid (a type of triterpenes found in essential oils) and many other antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols. Full spectrum extracts are known for their superior effects due to the so-called entourage effect. The entourage effect is defined by the synergistic interplay of various nutrients in a plant, which improves the bioavailability and results in the most effective health benefits.

Ultrasonic Processors for Extraction

UIP4000hdT 4kW powerful ultrasonic processor for extractionHielscher Ultrasonics specializes in the manufacturing of high-performance ultrasonic extraction equipment for batch and continuous flow processes. Ultrasonic processors from bench-top and pilot up to industrial scale are readily available and can be easily customized to the specific needs of your process.
high intensity ultrasound for the efficient extraction and isolation of bioactive components (e.g. quercetin, caffeine, curcumin, terpenes etc.). All ultrasonic devices from 200W to 16,000W feature a coloured display for digital control, an integrated SD card for automatic data recording, browser remote control and many more user-friendly features. The sonotrodes and flow cells (the parts, which are in contact with the medium) can be autoclaved and are easy to clean. All our ultrasonicators are built for 24/7 operation, require low maintenance and are easy and safe to operate.
Our customers appreciate the robustness and reliability of our ultrasonic systems. The automatic data recording of the built-in SD card allows for precise process control, repeatability and the insurance of a continuously high product standard in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices.
The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
1 to 500mL10 to 200mL/minUP100H
10 to 2000mL20 to 400mL/minUP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L0.2 to 4L/minUIP2000hdT
10 to 100L2 to 10L/minUIP4000hdT
n.a.10 to 100L/minUIP16000
n.a.largercluster of UIP16000

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Please use the form below, if you wish to request additional information about ultrasonic homogenization. We will be glad to offer you an ultrasonic system meeting your requirements.

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Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonicators for sonochemical applications.

High-power ultrasonic processors from lab to pilot and industrial scale.


  • Andreux, P.A.; Blanco-Bose, W.; Ryu, D.; Burdet, F.; Ibberson, M.; Aebischer, P.; Auwerx, J.; Singh, A.; Rinsch, C. (2019): The mitophagy activator urolithin A is safe and induces a molecular signature of improved mitochondrial and cellular health in humans. Nature Metabolism 1, 2019. 595–603.
  • Boggia, R.; Turrini, F.; Villa, C.; Lacapra, C.; Zunin, P.; Parodi, B. (2016): Green Extraction from Pomegranate Marcs for the Production of Functional Foods and Cosmetics. Pharmaceuticals 9 / 63, 2016.
  • Wu S.; Tian L. (2017): Diverse Phytochemicals and Bioactivities in the Ancient Fruit and Modern Functional Food Pomegranate (Punica granatum). Molecules 22(10), 2017. 1606.

Facts Worth Knowing


Ellagitannins are a diverse class of hydrolyzable tannins, a type of polyphenol formed primarily from the oxidative linkage of galloyl groups in 1,2,3,4,6-pentagalloyl glucose. Ellagitannins and ellagic acid are polyphenols present in some fruits, nuts and seeds, such as pomegranates, black raspberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts and almonds. Ellagic acids are related polyphenols, found in walnuts, pecans, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, peaches and pomegrante as well as in oak species such as the North American white oak (Quercus alba), the European red oak (Quercus robur) and in the medicinal mushroom Phellinus linteus.
Urolithins are intestinal microbial metabolites produced from ellagitannins. Urolithin A attracted recently a lot of attention since researchers have shown the exceptional benefits of urolithin A on mitochondrial health.
Antiproliferative and apoptosis-inducing activities of ellagic acid and urolithins have been demonstrated by the inhibition of cancer cell growth.
Ellagitanins and their source: Castalagin (oak, chestnut wood), Castalin (oak wood, punk tree leaves), Casuarictin (Casuarina and Stachyurus species), Crandinin (punk tree leaves), Peduncalagin (walnuts), Punicalagin (pomegranate), Punicalin (pomegranate), Roburin A (oak wood), Tellimagrandin II (clove, Asian herb bennet), Terflavin B (black chebulic, Indian almonds), Vescalagin (oak, chestnut wood).

Ellagitannins from pomegrante and their metabolites.

Pomegranate ellagitannin-derived metabolites. (A) Punicalagin (a pomegranate ellagitannin) is hydrolyzed to hexahydroxydiphenic acid, which is lactonized to yield ellagic acid; (B) Chemical structures of representative urolithins, the microfloral transformation products of ellagic acid. [Wu; Tian: 2017]


The mitochondrion (plural mitochondria) is a double-membrane-bound organelle found in most eukaryotic organisms. The mitochondria are the so-called power plants in cells and fulfil a number of vital functions by generating the main part of the cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is used as chemical energy. Mitochondrial respiration is the set of metabolic reactions and processes requiring oxygen that takes place in mitochondria to convert the energy stored in macronutrients to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the universal energy donor in the cell. The macromolecules of the mitochondrion, including the respiratory chain complexes, are susceptible to oxidative damage which accompanies inflammation. Ellagitannins and urolithins from pomegrante hav been shown to induce mitophagy (apoptosis) in order to remove damaged mitochondria so that the damaged mitochondria can be replaced with healthy organelles.

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