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Supercritical CO2 extraction makes propolis more pure

Method of extraction propolis

The active substance of propolis is often coated with wax and can not be absorbed directly by the human body. It must be easily absorbed by the human body.

Method of ethanol extraction propolis

The traditional propolis is used after the use of ethanol to extract its active substance.

The greatest advantage of propolis is low production cost, but the technical level of application is too low and its maximum lack.

The point is that the extraction rate of the active substance is low and the extraction process is time-consuming, and the high temperature extraction can not be applied. Otherwise, the ethanol will react with the colloid to form the Yellow odor precipitation, which is not conducive to the extraction of the active substance.

When the peak glue is extracted with aqueous solution, the water solution is not easy to penetrate and dissolve to get the high yield extraction. In general, ethanol solution is the main solution. The extraction efficiency of the ethanol solution is about 5-10 times that of the water extract.

Method of supercritical CO2 extraction propolis

At present, the supercritical CO2 fluid technology is being developed and used in Japan to extract propolis, the efficiency of which is 20-50 times as efficient as the ethanol extraction. At the same time, the original aromatic odor of most propolis was maintained.

Supercritical CO2 extraction could separate the propolis active substance from the wax and enhance the absorption rate of the unit active substance in the human body.

About supercritical CO2 extraction

At present, the supercritical fluid has been used to replace the general organic solvent for the purification and extraction of natural substances.

The biggest difference between the supercritical fluid and the general organic solvent is not only the high solubility and permeability of the material, but also the extraction of material at low temperature and not the chemical reaction with the extracted substance, when the substance is extracted.

Application of supercritical CO2 extraction

After extraction, the whole activity is retained, and after extraction at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, CO2 can escape to achieve rapid concentration of substance, so there is no solvent residue, and CO2 can be reused and reused.

It will not aggravate the pressure of solvent environment, so it is often used for extraction of temperature sensitive natural substances, such as natural pigments, spices, and spices. The extraction and purification of cosmetics and traditional Chinese medicine, especially in the purification of drugs, can remove the toxic organic solvents in the synthesis and manufacture of drugs, and make the crystallization less than 10A, and greatly increase the price of 1/3.

Comparison of two extraction methods

Comparison Table

The comparison between supercritical CO2 extraction and traditional propolis extraction is as follows

Propolis supercritical CO2 extraction equipment
Propolis supercritical CO2 extraction equipment
Traditional alcohol soaking propolis liquidExtraction of propolis essence by supercritical CO2
Manufacturing methodManufacturing method
The propolis block is mixed with a certain volume of ethanol in the container, soaked and stirred, and then the propolis solution can be obtained after filtering impuritiesManufacturing methodThe original propolis and a certain volume of ethanol are placed in the supercritical fluid extraction tank and injected into the high pressure liquid CO2. The extract of propolis extract can be obtained under the specific extraction process.
Comparison and analysis Comparison and analysis
The manufacturing process is simple, the equipment is crude, the cost is low, the air is easy to oxidize, and the hygiene condition and quality are worrying.Adopt advanced technology equipment and technology, quality and hygiene conform to GMP standard.
Propolis liquid contains a lot of impurities, such as beeswax, and has not been purified, extracted and cured.High pressure liquid CO2 has strong dissolving power. It can separate active substances from gum and wax and increase the absorption rate of active substances.
The length of soaking time affects the dissolution of propolis active substances, resulting in uneven market quality and consumers can not decide.Supercritical fluid technology can achieve the functions of purification, extraction and ripening.
The propolis liquid containing the beeswax (about 30%) after soaking and filtering is usually emulsified, so it usually contains emulsifiers.Oxygen free extraction and extraction, without contact with air, will not be oxidized and rancidity, retain the unique fragrance of propolis.
The physiological activity of propolis solution is 5-10 times higher than that of traditional soaking method.


The main components of propolis include flavonoids, terpene (C5H8) n and carbohydrate.

If water, ethanol and supercritical CO2 are extracted, the water extraction solution is yellowish yellow, the ethanol extract is dark yellow, and the supercritical CO2 extract is cream powder.

Even with the same propolis as raw materials, the composition of propolis products contains a large difference, such as the most flavonoids and terpene fat soluble components of the beeswax extracted by ethanol, and the water extracted propolis is mainly a solution of the original propolis. The composition, flavonoids is very few, does not contain terpene fat soluble components, and the supercritical fluid extraction propolis contains terpene fat soluble components, and the content of flavonoids is much lower than that of the ethanol extract.

Supercritical CO2 uses ethanol as a co-solvent to extract propolis

The key technology of supercritical CO2 extraction of beeswax is that the ethanol solution under high pressure will increase the extraction rate, and the supercritical fluid technology is used to separate and concentrate, and the reasons for using supercritical CO2 and ethanol as co-solvents are:

Supercritical fluid extraction without ethanol as co-solvents

After supercritical fluid extraction, the gum wax is easily dissolved in the extraction tank, which is not easy to clean and easy to plug.

Supercritical fluid extraction with ethanol as co-solvents

The effective separation of pressure by supercritical fluid is about 800atm, the cost of manufacturing and using of the equipment is too high, and the use of ethanol as an auxiliary solvent (cosolvent) only needs 200atm to meet the requirements.

Carbon dioxide supercritical fluid has good separation effect on ester (-OH) and so on. It can be used to separate propolis, but the solubility of propolis in ethanol is also good, so the key point is how to make the ethanol penetrate the colloid and dissolve the effective substance.

Advantages of supercritical CO2 combined with ethanol as a co-solvent for extracting propolis

The extraction of propolis by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction requires the aid of ethanol solution when mixed with cyclodextrin.

Therefore, the benefits produced by supercritical fluids can not completely replace the function of ethanol solvent extraction.

In terms of the extraction angle of the propolis, it is not better to dissolve the propolis completely by ethanol.

The supercritical fluid technology can almost completely dissolve the propolis active ingredient in the ethanol solution, so the high pressure fluid is supplemented with the ethanol solution in the high-pressure container and then uses the dynamic carbon dioxide supercritical fluid to take out the already.

The dissolved propolis alcohol solution can achieve the purpose of separation.

With carbon dioxide supercritical fluid extraction and fractionation of various substances, it is necessary to carry out accurate testing steps. It is less feasible in the initial stage of development and no special active substances can be used as the target of extraction. The active substances of propolis have their own special functions, and they are not easy to take up their functions and take carbon dioxide supercritical fluid. The concept that the fluid can completely dissolve the propolis into ethanol solution is feasible and feasible.

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