Natural extracts are widely used in food production. They are valued for their aroma, used as a natural colouring ingredient and in food supplements, for example, for their health-promoting properties. The range of extracts from developing and emerging countries is huge and therefore enriches the offer on the EU market. The Import Promotion Desk (IPD), a project of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), works with small and medium-sized companies in 16 partner countries which specialise in the production of high-quality extracts. They utilise indigenous plants and regional agricultural products and produce CO2 extracts, powder extracts, liquid extracts and essential oils. Many of the companies offer their plant extracts in organic quality, for example “Actifs Précieux” from Tunisia and “Peruvian Nature” from Peru, which are both present at the international fair Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) from 28 to 30 November in Frankfurt.

High-quality extracts
©Peruvian Nature. Maca products.

Wide range of extracts with multiple uses

Extracts are obtained from natural raw materials with the help of extraction processes and contain the same spectrum of ingredients as the source material – only in much higher concentrations. Each plant has different properties, so each plant extract also has its own special effect and possible uses. The use of extracts in the food industry is manifold: They are used as natural flavourings, colourings and aromas. In addition, extracts are used for their nutrient profile and associated additional benefits.

The Import Promotion Desk (IPD) works with small and medium-sized companies in 16 partner countries which specialise in the production of high-quality extracts

The quality of the raw material is crucial for the quality of the natural extracts. Many of the companies that the IPD supports use fruit and vegetables from organic cultivation. They pay attention to the originality and product quality of the raw materials in order to be able to produce high-quality extracts from them. Besides the selection of raw materials, the manufacturing processes are of great importance for the quality of the end product. The companies use gentle processes to preserve the natural properties of the active ingredients and to extract a high proportion of nutritional values, active ingredients and bioactive substances from the plants.

High-quality extracts
©Actifs Precieux. Rose petal CO2 extraction.

Effective separation: pure extracts

CO2 extraction enables the production of a pure extract that requires little to no post-processing. “Actifs Précieux” uses the CO2 method for its natural extracts and produces nigella, red pepper, coriander, rosemary, cumin and parsley CO2 extracts in organic quality. The Tunisian company relies on this sustainable and energy-efficient method for extracting high-quality natural ingredients. “This environmentally friendly approach offers numerous benefits, including preservation of heat-sensitive components, no solvent residues and a longer shelf life, which ultimately leads to cleaner and safer products”, summarises Hajer Derouiche from “Actifs Précieux”.

“Peruvian Nature” is the leading Peruvian company dedicated to the production and marketing of high- quality dehydrated ingredients. It has developed an organic sterilization system which allows the company to offer products with a 100 per cent naturally reduced bacterial load. “Peruvian Nature” uses Peru’snatural diversity and offers natural extracts, such as lucuma, camu camu, ginger and maca powder, in organic quality. Dehydrated goldenberries are also part of its portfolio.

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