Naturex will open a new R&D hub dedicated to investigating alternative, eco-friendly extraction solvents and new by-product opportunities for botanicals.
The plant-based ingredients specialist has teamed up with the GREEN laboratory at Avignon University in France to launch the new centre – ORTESA (Optimization and Research on Extraction Technologies and Alternative Solvents).
Backed with a €300,000 grant from the National Research Agency, the lab will open in October and run for three years.
Speaking to NutraIngredients about the new unit, R&D director at Naturex Antoine Bily said the research will have three key aims.
The team hopes to find new alternative solvents to improve the efficacy of existing processes, to reduce the environmental impact of extraction and also open up new opportunities for by-products, he said.
Sustainability is not an option, but a must-have
Bily said it is invaluable to provide time, money, equipment and resources to this type of work, particularly as eco-friendly extraction remains “relatively new” to the industry.
“There is a need to have a dedicated team to investigate this field and to offer more innovative and sustainable options for our clients.”
“Sustainability is not an option, but a must-have for our industry… It is both an opportunity and a responsibility for us to enhance our commitments in this field,” he said.
A knowledge-driven team
Naturex has chosen to work with the GREEN lab due to its extensive knowledge and focus on the area of eco-friendly extraction of botanical matrices.
With six books and more than 80 publications, the team at the University have a lot to bring to the research, Bily said.
Naturex said the research will ensure it remains a leader in botanical expertise.