Ultrasonic Production of Flavour Ingredients

  • Ultrasonic extraction increases yield and shortens process time.
  • Ultrasound is the key-technology for sustainable green extraction as it is a safe process using safe, green solvents.
  • Furthermore, it has a very high energy-efficiency.

Botanical Extracts

Ultrasonic extraction is commercialized technique for the production of high-quality extracts for the food & beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
Using ultrasound, full extractions can now be completed in minutes with high reproducibility, reducing the consumption of solvent, simplifying manipulation and work-up, giving higher purity of the final product, eliminating post-treatment of waste water and consuming only a fraction of the fossil energy normally needed for a conventional extraction method such as Soxhlet extraction, maceration or Clevenger distillation. Several classes of food components such as aromas, pigments, antioxidants, and other organic and mineral compounds have been extracted, analyzed and formulated efficiently from a variety of matrices (mainly animal tissues, microalgae, yeasts, food and plant materials).[Chemat et al. 2017]

Ultrasonic extraction is used to produce isolates from botanicals. The video shows the efficient extraction of flavor compounds from chili flakes with the UP200Ht.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Chili Flakes using the UP200Ht

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As market leader, Hielscher Ultrasonics has established a broad data base of knowledge about ultrasonic extraction processes including the extraction of spices, herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables for the production of flavors and fragrances. Hielscher Ultrasonics has gained profound knowledge on the extraction of various plant materials such as coffee, saffron, grapes (wine), oak, tea leaves, lavender, mint, stevia, chili peppers, vanilla, cocoa, boldus leaves, and many others.
Ultrasonic extraction processes can be performed with almost any solvents such as water, alcohol, oils, hexane, benzene etc.
For the production of flavors, fragrances and active components, which will be used as ingredients in the food & beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and perfume industries, the usage of non-hazardous, green solvents such as water and alcohol are a great advantage.

Ultrasonic extraction is a simple and efficient strategy to produce higher yields of premium extracts from botanicals.

Industrial installation of the ultrasonic extractor UIP4000hdT for the production of botanical extracts.

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Forms of ultrasonic extraction:

The ultrasonic method gives better extraction compared in comparison to most of the conventional extraction processes, e.g. maceration, in terms of process time, higher yield, more energy saving, cleanliness, safety and product quality. Especially in regards to the production of food, beverage and pharmaceutical and cosmetic additives, the green ultrasonic extraction technique is a high advantage concerning product safety.

Transparent Flavour Emulsions

Emulsions are a common additive to functionalize food and beverages regarding flavour, nutritional value and stability. Especially for the formulation of beverages, the clearness is an important factor since the final product must fulfil not only quality and nutritional standards, but also optical ones. For clear beverages and foods, this means that the emulsion additive should not interfere with the aimed final quality target. Thereby, a clear emulsion is easier to process. Due to their size, nanoemulsions are transparent and translucent (at least for the naked eye). Due to their high kinetic stability, low viscosity, high transparency, and high stability against sedimentation, creaming, coalescence, and flocculation, they are widely used as ingredients.
The larger the droplet / particle size, the more opacity is contributed to the final product. For the formulation of clear beverages the use of a clear emulsion with nano-droplets gives the best results. Ultrasonic emulsification enables to produce W/O, O/W, inverse emulsions, as well as double or multiple emulsions W/O/W with droplets in the nano-range (so called miniemulsions, nanoemulsions, ultrafine emulsions, or submicron emulsions). Droplet size can be adjusted and controlled by ultrasonic process parameters. Hielscher’s ultrasonic devices are precisely controllable for optimal and reproducible process results.

Hielscher's ultrasonicators, e.g. UP200S (in the picture), are very successful for extraction of intra-cellular matter.

Ultrasonic extraction from herbs

With the MultiPhaseCavitator, Hielscher has developed a unique flow cell insert to improve the ultrasonic emulsification even further.
Click here to read more about the MultiPhaseCavitator!
Click here to read more about ultrasonic emulsification!

Flavor Encapsulation

The use of liposomes in pharmaceutical and food products is continuously increasing. Liposomes can be used as carriers for active molecules, e.g nutrients and drugs. By sonication, liposomes can be formed by emulsification of a lipid/water suspension or by sonication of multilamellar vesicles (MLVs). By the ultrasonic emulsion process, lipid bilayers are broken into smaller fractures, so that these pieces create themselves to small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) composed of phospholipids. During the sonication process, active ingredients can be encapsulated into the liposomes.
Click here to learn more about the ultrasonic production of liposomes!

Ultrasonic Extraction Systems

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our most popular ultrasonic extraction systems:

Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
10 to 2000mL20 to 400mL/minUP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L0.2 to 4L/minUIP2000hdT
10 to 100L2 to 10L/minUIP4000
n.a.10 to 100L/minUIP16000
n.a.largercluster of UIP16000

  • green solvents
  • higher yield
  • shorter extraction time
  • safety
  • rapid return on investment
  • low costs
Ultrasonic botanical extraction gives higher yields. The Hielscher UIP2000hdT, 2000 watts homogenizer is powerful enough to extract batches from 10 liters to 120 liters easily.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Botanicals - 30 Liter / 8 Gallon Batch

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Ultrasonic Supercritical Extraction

Supercritical fluid and supercritical CO2 extraction one of the most important extraction techniques when it comes to the production of flavours and fragrances.
Supercritical carbon dioxide is a selective solvent with an adjustable density. Its selectivity and solvent power depends on the variable density which can be influenced by the pressure and temperature.
By combining supercritical extraction with sonication, it becomes possible to use food grade solvents such as alcohol or water and yet to achieve high extraction rates and high yields.
Use the form below to get more information about our ultrasonic extraction systems and their applications!

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The Hielscher SonoStation makes the sonication of mid-size batches using a flow cell reactor easy.
The compact SonoStation combines a 38 liter agitated tank with an adjustable progressive cavity pump that can feed up 3 liters per minute into one or two ultrasonic flow cell reactors.

Ultrasonic Mixing Station - SonoStation with 2 x 2000 Watts Homogenizers

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Ultrasonic food homogenizers and processors are available from the small handheld device to bench-top and full-industrial ultrasonic systems for large volume processing (Click to enlarge!)

Hielscher’s ultrasonic food processors are available for any process scale.

Literature / References

More About Ultrasonic Extraction

Ultrasonic extraction is well-known and reliable method to produce extracts from various plant-based raw materials. High power ultrasonics increases the mass transfer between the raw material and the solvent by pushing the solvent into the cell structure and flushing it out at a rate of approx. 20,000 times per second (at 20kHz). Sonication has been proven to be a very mild, yet very efficient methodcreating higher yields and extracts of higher quality in a shorter processing time!
The following materials have been already very successful extracted by the ultrasonication:
Spices: saffron, chili peppers (e.g. capsaicin), ginger, cinnamon, vanillin / vanilla, rosmarinic acid, sage, rosmary, majoram, basil, etc.
Herbs: peppermint, teas (e.g. black, green, Pai Mu Tan, jasmin, rooibos, honeybush), spearmint, stevia, cannabis, etc.
Flowers: lavender, patcholi, ylang-ylang, rose, etc.
Fruits and vegetables: wine, grapes / grape seeds, coffee, cocoa, olives, orange / orange peel, tomato, guarana seeds, oleaginous seeds (almonds, soy beans, papaya seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower, rapeseeds), pomgranate peel, spinach, mulberry, roots, etc.
Microorganisms: seaweed, spirulina, micro algae (Nannochloropsis spp microalgae, Nannochloropsis oculata microalgae, Dunaliella salina microalgae), Synechococcus sp. cyanobacteria, Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous yeast, Trichosporon oleaginosisus yeast, oleaginous fungus, Cordyceps sinensis fungus

Targeted extracts, which are obtained by sonication, are essential oils, vitamins, lipids, proteins, and phytocomplexes such as phenolics, antioxidants, polysaccharides, oleoresins, esters, essences, protein hydrolysates, amino acids, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids (e.g. morphine, codeine, thebaine), pigments / colorants (carotinoids, chlorophyll, phycocyanin), anthocyanins, limonene, alantolactone, isoalantolactone and other active substances.

About Green Extraction

Green extraction is focused on environmental-friendly, sustainable methods. Therefore, reducing the energy consumption of the process the use of alternative solvents and renewable natural raw materials, are key factors for green extraction. The target is to ensure a safe and high quality extract. To obtain a safe high-quality product, it is important to use alternative, recyclable and safer solvents. By reducing the overall toxicity of the process and final products, consumers benefit from a healthier, safer product and producers create a safer processing environment for their employees.

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