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Popular Science-Classification and Application of Plant Extracts


Popular Science-Classification and Application of Plant Extracts

2024-07-08 11:40:17

In recent years, as people's recognition of "returning to nature" and "green consumption" has increased, natural foods have been praised around the world, and traditional Chinese medicine has also received special attention and recognition. As the main raw material for food, plant extracts have become a star among food raw materials and have shown strong growth momentum in the global market.


Keywords: plant extraction classification; ingredients; application market
Plant extracts are made from plants as raw materials. According to the use needs of the extracted final products, through a physical and chemical extraction and separation process, one or more active ingredients in the plants are directionally obtained and concentrated without changing the structure of the active ingredients. products formed.

It can be used as raw materials and is widely used in downstream industries such as food, beverages, medicine, health products, and cosmetics.

01 How are plant extracts classified?
There are many types of plant extracts, and they are classified in many ways:
1) According to the content of active ingredients: it can be divided into three categories: effective monomer extract, standard extract and ratio extract.
2) According to ingredients: it can be divided into glycosides, acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, terpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids, etc.
3) According to product form: it can be divided into vegetable oil, extract, powder, lens, etc.
4) According to use: it can be divided into natural pigment products, traditional Chinese medicine extract products, extract products and concentrated products.

There are nearly a hundred kinds of plant extracts popular in the world at present, and the common ones are as follows:
1) Antioxidants: grape seed extract, green tea extract, pine bark extract, etc.;
2) Immune modulators: ginseng extract, Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract, Ganoderma lucidum extract, etc.;
3) Improve cardiovascular system functions: Ginkgo leaf extract, lotus seed heart extract, rhodiola rosea extract, etc.;
4) Sedatives: valerian extract, hops extract, etc.;
5) Natural pigments: lycopene, phycocyanin,purple sweet potato extract, etc.;
6) Functional sweeteners: licorice extract, stevia extract, etc.


02 Main components of plant extracts
1) Alkaloids, that is, plant alkaloids, are important active ingredients in Chinese herbal medicine. Common ones include alkaloids in coptis and ephedrine in ephedra.
2) Flavonoids have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other biological activities. Common flavonoids include propolis, soy isoflavones, anthocyanins, tea polyphenols, etc.
3) Polysaccharides have the effects of lowering serum cholesterol, anti-cancer, and regulating immunity, such as Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides, lentinan, algae polysaccharides, etc.
4) Glycosides are substances formed by combining sugar with phenols and flavonoids. Different types of aglycones have different physiological activities and have various functions.
5) Volatile oils, also called essential oils, are aromatic and volatile oily liquids. Common volatile oils include peppermint oil, rose essential oil, and garlic oil.
6) Organic acids such as citric acid, lactic acid, malic acid, ascorbic acid, etc. are the most effective substitutes for antibiotics and can regulate intestinal flora.

03 The application market of plant ingredients continues to expand
The plant extract industry undertakes the agricultural planting industry upwards and the big health industry downwards, playing an important role in the big health industry chain.
my country's plant extract industry originated from the traditional Chinese herbal medicine industry, and the overall development time is relatively late. In the 1970s, some traditional Chinese medicine factories began to use mechanical equipment to extract plant ingredients, but it was only used as a link in production and did not form an independent industry. 



With the rise of the international "return to nature" trend and the rise of my country's foreign trade, in the 1990s In the 1990s, my country's plant extract industry entered its infancy; by the 21st century, with the adoption of more advanced plant extract technologies such as enzymatic extraction, ultrasonic extraction, supercritical extraction, membrane separation technology, microwave extraction and other technologies, the efficiency of plant extraction has increased. Greatly improved, my country's plant extract industry has entered a golden development period.
As a country with traditional Chinese medicinal materials, China is rich in plant resources. At present, the share of my country's plant extract products in medicine and health food is increasing day by day, and the export volume is also rising year by year. It can be seen that the gradual maturity of China's plant extract industry is undoubtedly an important progress for the global plant extract industry.
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