Miguel García / 09 May 2016

ALTEX will show in VITAFOODS its CO2 extraction technology to increase the value of products


Altex, AINIA´s supercritical CO2 industrial plant will be in Vitafoods Europe, which will take place in Geneva (Switzerland) from 10th to 12th May (stand M65). Food products, nutraceuticals, API, cosmetics, drugs… Altex CO2 extraction technology enables toll manufacturing from a wide number of raw materials, in a profitable way for companies and minimizing risks.


A valerian extract ten times purer than the existing currently in the market, highly interesting for pharmaceutical companies; oils extracted from almond, chia, rosehip or pepper to add value to cosmetics; low fat products, vegetable proteins and fine oils, also antioxidants or pigments, so required by the food industry; or the removal of unpleasant tastes, microbes, pesticides from spices or herbs are applications reached in Altex.

Altex is AINIA´s high pressure CO2 industrial plant. It is a versatile and multi-product facility, specialized in starting toll manufacturing productions, with the objective of providing access to advanced extractions, purifications and specific materials treatments to food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. This 4,000 L capacity plant works with CO2 in subcritical and supercritical conditions (from subcritical to 350 bar) and has a manufacturing system based on GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices).

In order to bring this advanced technology to the professional environment, ALTEX will be in VITAFOODS, a benchmark event where exhibitors from all over the world present their innovations in ingredients and nutraceuticals. ALTEX will be in booth M65, where you will be able to contact its technical team and to know in detail the numerous applications of the plant as well as the potential of its technology.

Altex, CO2 extraction 

CO2 is a completely harmless gas fluid that under certain conditions of pressure and temperature gets supercritical or subcritical state and has unique features to be used in extraction processes. When operating conditions exceed the critical point, CO2 becomes a powerful solvent for separating substances in an effective, fast and completely clean way, without generating anywaste. This separation of active ingredients takes place at very mild temperatures that preserve the nutrients intact and the organoleptic quality of the product.

After twenty years of research and technological development at AINIA Technology Centre, its industrial plant ALTEX with a versatile purpose is one of the few in the world able to offer from small tests, to the first industrial scale-up trials and profitability studies and up to outsourced toll manufacturing production in a cost-effective way and minimizing risks.

Pharmaceutical market demand

Effectiveness, safety and dosage are critical issues that require high purity rates in the ingredients of the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, CO2 extraction is a competitive, sustainable and innovative solution for a wide range of active ingredients (API) from medicinal herbs and other natural sources.

Supercritical CO2 ensures high efficiency in extraction yield, helping to control the API quantity and the excipient required for a certain dose. For example, in ALTEX was obtained a valerian extract ten times purer than the existing ones on the market, of great interest to pharmaceutical companies.

Solution for the nutraceutical industry, additives and food manufacturer

On the other hand, health and nutrition are two important levers of growth in the food and related industries. Consumers demand healthy, nutritious and natural products, but also products ready-to-eat (convenience), with an extended shelf life and hedonic food that meets their emotions.

Manufacturers of dietary products, nutraceuticals, food supplements and food products in general need to provide safe and affordable solutions in line with these trends. CO2 extraction is a cost-effective and natural alternative in order to obtain high-quality ingredients and also to remove undesirable impurities.

Low-fat product, vegetal proteins and fine oils to enrich food, fatty components removal from raw materials such as cocoa, almonds, walnuts…; chia extraction, grape seed extraction, algae extracts, etc., are some examples of applications and services in Altex. But Altex also leads to hedonic and functional ingredients, such as the hop extract to produce beer, essential oils, pigments and antioxidant ingredients. Finally, Altex also offers very interesting solutions for impurities removal such as microbes and other contaminants from imported products, flavours or disgusting odours and pesticides from spices or herbs.

Potential for the cosmetic industry

Solvent-free oils with healthy properties to be applied to functional cosmetics as well as natural extracts for the development of fragrances and creams are more and more demanded by the cosmetic industry. Extraction with CO2 at high pressure appears as a very interesting industrial process to obtain them. In this area, Altex has achieved pure oils from almond, chia and rosehip, for example.

Supercritical extraction compared with conventional technologies

CO2 extraction at high pressures is more profitable, natural and environmentally sustainable than traditional techniques that employ aggressive solvents and affect the properties of the extracted ingredients, either in further refining stages or due to fact that they achieve lower yields.

If you are interested in learning more about the high pressure CO2 extraction technology, as well as examples of applications, services and yields in Altex, you may find us on stand M65 in VITAFOODS.

Altex, AINIA´s CO2 Industrial PlantVITAFOODS – 10/12th May 2016

You can visit us in VitaFoods:

Location: Stand M65 – Ingredients and raw materials zone

PLACE: Palexpo. Geneva (Switzerland)

For journalists and bloggers interested in more information or interviews with AINIA´s technicians: Eva Sánchez prensa@ainiainnovacion.es

Miguel García (19 articles)


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