Research on extraction and formulation intensification processes for natural actives of wine

Europe is the world leader producer of wine and grape must (60% of world production) Wine industry is an important sector for the EU economy and the development of new wine related products could lead a sustainable growth and development of the sector. Within the wine industry is essential to find new ways to expand business.

Related to this, some molecular structures of grapes have shown to provide specific health benefits as natural components.. Polyphenols are molecules that have a very active and very interesting from the point of view of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Chemical Engineering and Biology. Scientists stress the importance of polyphenols on human health and the incorporation of these natural substances in cosmetic, food, or pharmaceutical products represents an interesting market opportunity for wine producers.

This project proposes to improve the extraction process to catch most of the active parts of the polyphenols (presents in grapes), to define a suitable formulation for pharmaceutical applications, food, and cosmetics additives based on Solvent Free Microwave Extraction (SMFE), Microwave Assisted Extraction (MAE), and emulsion-Template techniques combining high pressure and antisolvent effects. Those are techniques developed for analytical purposes that are being implemented in production processes.

New solutions for conventional extraction processes and new solutions for new products are needed to increase process efficiency and product properties. Intensification is a common objective of the extraction and formulation as it reduces operating time, while improving the quantity and quality of the extracts.

The key issue is the adequate control of the kinetics of the process, taking into account the time scales of the various phenomena involved. This is the original and innovative idea behind the advanced template emulsion techniques proposed in this project to increase the solubility of polyphenols.

In order to characterize the emulsion process, industry and research efforts should be combined; only thus can synthesize a compound actually active that are suited for health, food and wellness applications, in response to the models and innovative approaches of natural products and the challenges of the European Knowledge-Based-Bioeconomy (KBBE ).

It also offers a solution in the wine production chain by increasing the value of a wine byproduct that currently has little economic return. Thus combine an innovative and sustainable resource where processes are more efficient and diversified. Combining industry expertise and research capabilities, we will ensure the quality and functionality of the active components of polyphenols for new pharamarmaceutic, food & cosmetic products creation and thereby enhancing the competitiveness of the sector.


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