Hielscher Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasonic Extraction of Bioactive Compounds from Bitter Melon

  • Bitter melons (also known as bitter apple, bitter gourd, bitter squash, balsam-pear) is a fruit high in health-beneficial compounds such as antioxidants, flavonoids, phytosterols, and saponins.
  • Sonication is well known to intensify the extraction of bioactive substances from botanicals.
  • Ultrasonic extraction releases high quality extracts from bitter melon and excels by increased yield as well as rapid and simple processing.

Bitter Melon’s Bioactive Compounds

Bitter melons are rich in polyphenols, alkaloids and phytosterols, which can be extracted by sonication.Bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.) is a tropical fruit, which is rich in manifold phytochemical compounds such as antioxidants, phytosterols, glycosides, saponins, alkaloids, and triterpenes. Due to its high amounts of bioactive substances, bitter melon is valued as medicinal plant and superfood. Especially its saponins, which are present in all parts of the plant sucha as fruit pulp, seed, leaves, show a hypoglycamic effect and are therefore used as natural antidiabetic.
Ultrasonic extraction, well known as superb extraction technique, enhances the release of the bioactive phytoconstituents such as saponins, flavonoids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, terpenoids, tannins, and alkaloids.

Ultrasonic Extraction from Bitter Melon

Sonication is a verified technique known to intensify extraction processes from botanicals. Intense ultrasonic waves disrupt cells, increase mass transfer and promote thereby the release of bioactive compounds. Besides the extraction of phytoconstituents from bitter melon, ultrasonic is successfully used to produce extracts from coffee, saffron, cannabis, monk fruit, ayurvedic herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and many other plants.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Bioactive Compounds from Botanicals

Hielscher Ultrasonics' SonoStation is an easy-to-use ultrasonic setup for production scale. (Click to enlarge!)

SonoStation – an ultrasonic system with 2x 2kW ultrasonicators, stirred tank and pump – is a user-friendly system for extraction.

Information Request




Note our privacy policy.


Case Study

Ultrasonic extraction has been shown to be a fast and efficient extraction of charantin from M. charantia fruits. Sonication was performed in methanol-water (80:20, v/v) mixture at 46°C with a solid to solvent ratio of 1:26, w/v and resulted in an increased charantin yield of more than 3 mg/g charantin from bitter gourd powder. The sonication protocol was 2.74 times more efficient in extracting charantin when compared to the soxhlet method. (Ahamad et. 2015)

Benefits of Ultrasonic Bitter Gourd Extraction:

  • Higher Yield
  • High Quality
  • Rapid Extraction
  • Mild, Non-thermal Process
  • Water or Solvent
  • Simple & Safe Operation

Choose Your Solvent

Using ultrasonic extraction, you can select from various solvents, including water, alcohol, ethanol, methanol, or ethanol-water mixtures, which have been already tested and shown to be effective for the isolation of phenolic compounds from bitter melon. Sonication can be used in solvent-free water extraction (e.g. to prepare organic extracts) or can be combined with a solvent of your choice.
Learn more about solvents for the ultrasonic extraction from botanicals!

Hielscher's UP400St is a powerful ultrasonic extractor (Click to enlarge!)

UP400St for the extraction of phyto-constituents from botanicals.

High-Performance Ultrasound Extrators

UIP4000hdT (4kW) ultrasonic processor for the extraction of pectins in an industrial inline process.Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment is widely used to isolate active compounds from botanicals. Supplying ultrasonic extractors for all process volumes, Hielscher is able to recommend you the most suitable ultrasonic processor for your requirements. Starting with small hand-held lab systems for analysis and feasibility tests to pilot plant ultrasonicators and fully industrial ultrasound reactors, Hielscher product range has the ideal setup for your extraction process. Depending on your process, ultrasonic extraction can be performed in batch or continuous flow mode. Manifold accessories such as sonotrodes, booster horns, flow cells and reactors allow to equip the ultrasonic setup ideally to the process targets.
Hielscher’s ultrasonic processors can be precisely controlled and process data are automatically recorded on the integrated SD-card of our digital ultrasonic systems. The reliable control over the process parameters ensure a consistently high product quality and allow for process standardization.
The robustness of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment allows for 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments. Easy and safe operation as well as low maintenance make Hielscher’s ultrasonic systems the reliable work horse in your production.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
0.5 to 1.5mL n.a. VialTweeter
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

Contact us now for further information! Our well-trained staff will be glad to discuss your extraction process with you!

Contact Us! / Ask Us!

Ask for more information

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.









Please note our privacy policy.


Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonicators for sonochemical applications.

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

Literature/References

  • Ahamad, Javed; Amin, Saima; Mir, Showkat R. (2015): Optimization of ultrasound-assisted extraction of charantin from Momordica charantia fruits using response surface methodology. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2015 Oct-Dec; 7(4): 304–307.
  • Santana de Oliveira M., Almeida da Costa W., Figueiredo Bezerra F.W., Araújo M.E., Costa Ferreira G., Nunes de Carvalho Junior R. (2018): Phytochemical profile and biological activities of Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae): A review. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 17(27), pp. 829-846, 4 July, 2018.
  • Sutanto, H.; Himawan, E.; Kusumocahyo, S.P. (2015): Ultrasound assisted extraction of bitter gourd fruit (Momordica charantia) and vacuum evaporation to concentrate the extract. ISAC 2015.
  • Thakre, A.; Deore, V.; Gaiwad, S.; Kawade, S. (2014): Extraction of Phytochemical Components from the Fruit of Momordica Charantia and Evaluation of its Antimicrobial


Facts Worth Knowing

Bitter Melon

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia L., family of Cucurbitaceae; colloquially also known as bitter gourd, bitter melon, bitter apple, bitter gourd, bitter squash, balsam-pear) is a fruit found in Asia and Africa, where it is valued for its various health benefits. Bitter melon has been associated with anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. The medicinal values of the bitter gourd fruit are linked to its high content of phenolics, which act as antioxidants. Often used as plant-based medicine for diabetics, bitter gourd’s beneficial effects on blood sugar reduction is linked to the bioactive component charantin. Charantin is a 1:1 mixture of two steroidal saponins, β-sitosteryl glucoside (C35H60O6) and 5,25-stigmasteryl glucoside (C35H58O6).
Furthermore, the Momordica charantia fruit is very rich in polyphenols. Due to the hydroxyl groups, most phenolics in bitter melon are hydrophilic compounds, such as gallic acid, gentisic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, vanillin acid, protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric acid, o-coumaric acid, and t-cinnamic acid. The richness in polyphenols make bitter gourd extracts a potent antioxidative supplement that is highly effective in the scavenging of free radicals.
Pulp, aril and seeds of the bitter melon contain a high amount of phenolics and flavonoids and are thereby a good source for the preparation of phyto-pharmaceutical products.

Momordica charantia L. fruit and leaves - source Santana de Oliveira et al. 2018

Bioactive compounds from bitter gourd, known for their health beneficials, can be successfully extracted by sonication.

How Does Ultrasonic Extraction Work?

Ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) is based on coupling highly intense ultrasound waves into a liquid or slurry. The ultrasound waves create alternating high pressure / low pressure cycles, which results in the generation of cavitation. The phenomenon of ultrasonic or acoustic cavitation is characterized by extreme local conditions of pressure, temperature and shear forces. In proximity of the imploding cavitation bubbles, very high temperatures of up to 5000K, pressures of 1000 atmosphere, heating-cooling rate above 1010 K/s and liquids jets with up to 280m/s velocity, which appear as very high shear force and turbulences in the cavitational zone. The combination of these factors (pressure, heat, shear and turbulence) disrupt cells (lysis) and accelerate mass transfer during the extraction process and assists thereby the liquid-solid extraction of phytoconstituents from plants. The ultrasonic extraction technique is widely applied for the extraction of flavonoids, polysaccharides, alkaloids, phytosterols, polyphenols, and pigments from plants.