Utrasonic topic: "Ultrasonics for supplement production"

Dietary or nutritional supplements are products that help to provide nutrients in order to balance out the nutrient intake from the regular diet. Common dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, herbs or other nutritional substances.

There a two major applications for ultrasonic processors in dietary supplement production:

  • the extraction or synthesis of nutrients, and
  • the formulation of the final supplement product.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Nutrients

In first step, nutrients for the supplement must be prepared. This can happen either by extracting the compound from a natural product, e.g. a plant, or by synthesizing the compound chemically.
Ultrasonic extraction is a potent technique, which breaks cell walls and releases the bioactive compounds. The main advantage s of ultrasonic extraction are its exceptional high extraction rate, rapid extraction speed, the use of green solvents (e.g. water, ethanol, vegetable oils etc.), safety, and user-friendliness. Being a non-thermal extraction method, ultrasonic extraction prevents the thermal degradation of heat-sensitive materials and results in superior extract quality. Typical extracts produced by sonication include curcumin, algae lipids, antioxidants, cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBG, terpenes etc.), vitamins and flavonoids.
For synthesis, sonochemical intensification of reactions can speed up the conversion rate and increase yields. Sonochemical preparation of amino acids in aqueous solutions is a good example, where ultrasonicators are successfully applied in nutrient production.

Ultrasonic Supplement Formulation

Ultrasonic is a powerful technique of mixing, dispersing and emulsification. To formulate dietary supplements, the actual nutrients must be processed a bioavailable form, e.g. nano-droplets. Ultrasonic mixers help to distribute the active ingredients uniformly throughout the formulation, which is subsequently processed into pills, capsules, powders, gel tabs, extracts, or liquids. Many bioactive ingredients such as curcumin, cannabidiol or resveratrol are not water-soluble and exhibit a low natural bioavailability. Liposomal formulations, where the active compound is encapsulated in a bilayer of phospholipids, increase the bioavailability of such compounds significantly. Ultrasonic processors are the preferred technique to formulate nutrients into stable, nano-sized liposomes, including liposomal vitamin C, CBD, or resveratrol to name just a few.
Ultrasonic mixing and dispersing is also used to create formulations such as nano-sized suspensions and dispersions, nano-emulsions, pickering emulsions and gels.

Ultrasonic processors are well established in the food and pharma industry. Hielscher Ultrasonics offers high-performance ultrasonic devices from lab and bench-top size up to full-commercial industrial scale with capacities of processing several tons per hour.

Read more about how ultrasonic processors can improve the manufacturing of nutritional supplements.

UIP2000hdT - 2kW ultrasonicator for liquid-solid processes.

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