Previously, SymTrap® could only be used to extract and concentrate volatile flavoring substances from the water used in distillation processes. Based on an adsorption-desorption process, the technology represents an intelligent application of physical principles that, in addition to saving considerable energy, is also highly effective, notes a Symrise press release. The method has recently been taken to the next logical level and expanded as a gentle method for extracting secondary plant materials with biofunctional properties.
As of today, the Hamburg site, the production center for the company's functional ingredients, will be operating the largest SymTrap® plant within the Symrise Group. The patented method can be used to purify substances with healthful properties -- even when those substances are only present in very small amounts -- and incorporate them into a final product in concentrated form. The plant can process large quantities of liquid extracts and fruit juices. In addition, it was possible to double the production capacity for natural extracts. The Sym-Trap® process standardizes extracts with respect to the bioactive agents they contain -- the extracts can then all be used in nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals or foods.
Common extraction processes, however, are often ineffective or insufficient when it comes to concentrating or standardizing these same active ingredients. Yet another problem is that harsher methods break down the potent natural agents involved. Anthocyanins, which occur naturally in red fruits and berries, represent one example of these much sought-after substances and many health-related properties have been attributed to them.
Symrise has only just recently established Actiplants®, an umbrella brand for the botanical extracts that the company obtains through the use of SymTrap®, among other processes. One prominent member of this product line is Actiplants® Bilberry, an extract of bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) in which Symrise has concentrated anthocyanins to high levels. In addition to their antioxidant properties, these extracts also promote eye health, support capillary function and have demonstrated highly promising effects on chronic and acute diseases of the GI tract. Though important to human health, this group of compounds is only present in bilberries in trace amounts (no more than 0.5%). Symrise, however, has managed to raise the concentration to 25% and in some cases to even 36%.
Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG, had the following to say about the new Hamburg plant: “Our investment in and development of this proprietary technology strengthens our position as a manufacturer of functional ingredients. Dynamic growth on the market for health products is expected to continue in the coming years -- and our products are perfectly in line with that development. We will also continue to emphasize organic growth on what is a vigorously developing market.”
“Our second generation SymTrap® process,” adds Hans Holger Gliewe, global president Flavor & Nutrition, “delivers impressive evidence that established technologies for our flavorings are also suitable for producing botanical extracts with highly standardized bioactive agents. After all, we want to extract these substances from their natural sources as gently as possible so that consumers and our clients get exactly what they’re looking for: solutions that are compatible with a healthy lifestyle -- and that taste good, too.”
From the April 18, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.