Extracting vibrant colours in eco-friendly fashion
Agriculture Canada Agri-Food Newsletter November 2016
Phytonutrients are found in over 25,000 plant foods, and used in countless consumer products. They give plants their vibrant colours and do the same in cosmetics like eyeshadow and blush. They help maintain the health of plants, and recent research has shown they may do the same in humans—that’s why they are included in various health foods and supplements.
There is high demand for phytonutrients—the market is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2020. Until recently, harsh industrial solvents were the main way to extract the nutrients from plants and a major disadvantage was that these solvents could not always be disposed of in an environmentally safe way.
Harnessing the power of water
Mazza Innovation, a British Columbia-based company, is changing this. With research funding from the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, Mazza Innovation developed a method of extracting phytonutrients from various plants using the most natural solvent possible: water.
Mazza Innovation’s patented method, known as PhytoClean™, produces highly purified plant extracts without using solvents or chemicals. This innovation has not only led to higher-quality end products—it is more environmentally friendly than the conventional method.
Designing for sustainability
The Mazza Innovation system was designed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind. It reuses as much energy as possible, and purifies and reuses water at the end of the extraction process. In addition, the waste products it generates are entirely compostable. By emphasizing sustainability in its design, Mazza Innovation succeeded in creating not only a more cost-effective extraction process, but a greener one.
Mazza Innovation has developed 15 extracts over the last year from plants such as blueberries, cranberries, flaxseed and algae. The company continues to apply its process to a large range of other botanicals. Looking ahead, its innovative, earth-friendly, water-based extraction process has the potential to make the old solvent-based process obsolete.
Find out more
Learn more about the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program.
Mazza Innovation is pleased to acknowledge the financial support of Agriculture Canada and the Government of Canada in developing the PhytoClean™ technology.