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Innovative Production Process

Licofarma is a high technology Italian firm committed to the research of clean biotechnology extraction methods, in order to extract natural active ingredients without the use of chemical solvents.

Together with our research partners, including the University of Salento, CNR Ispa Bari-Lecce and thanks to the Italian Ministry of Research, Licofarma has focused on and patented an innovative extraction process which uses Supercritical CO2 to extract natural antioxidants instead of the traditional toxic-noxious chemical solvents.

Production Technology

Production Technology

  • Supercritical CO2 extraction is to date the best way to extract natural antioxidants without using chemical solvents.
  • The idea is: at very high pressure, some substances which are in gas form at room temperature can suddenly liquefy and be used for the extraction of natural and vegetable nutrients.
  • When above 31°C of temperature (critical temperature) and 73 bars of pressure (critical pressure), CO2 acquires intermediate features between gas and liquid, and therefore it can be used as solvent to extract low molecular weight and little polar active ingredients from vegetable or animal sources.

Technology Advantages

Compared to chemical solvents, Supercritical CO2 shows significant advantages:
  1. It allows higher quality natural products, carrying the same “natural” features of the original sources and without trace of chemical solvents.
  2. The extraction cycle is short and simple.
  3. The production plant is eco-friendly and does not pollute the environment. The extraction residuals don’t contain chemical solvents, so they are easy to dispose. CO2 is odourless, doesn’t have a flavour, it isn’t toxic (you breath it everyday) and it’s not flammable.
  4. It allows better hygiene conditions and safety: the personnel in charge are not exposed to toxic and noxious solvents.
  5. Once the extraction is completed and the pressure goes back to normal, CO2 turns back into gas and it is recycled - ready for the next extraction.

Technology Advantages

Technology Application

Technology Applications

This innovative technology allows the extraction of active principles from both liquid and solid substances, and the splitting of vegetable extracts in several fractions.
Some of the processes that Licofarma has patented thanks to this technology relate to:
  1. Extraction of Lycopene from organic tomato berries.
  2. Extraction of Anthocyanins from black grapes and other vegetables.
  3. Extraction and concentration of Vitamin E from almonds and other vegetables.
  4. Extraction and splitting of the antioxidant and aromatic fractions from several officinal herbs, including rosemary and sage.