Innovative Ultrasonics specializes in process development, engineering design, installation and equipment in the area of high-powered ultrasonics for new and existing industrial applications.
Innovative Ultrasonics specializes in laboratory and pilot equipment only. For commercial scale equipment, visit Cavitus.
The extraction of organic compounds from plants or seeds has classically been based upon the judicious combination of solvent, heat and/or agitation. This can be significantly improved by the use of high powered ultrasound, as the energy generated from collapsing cavitational bubbles provides greater penetration of the solvent into the cellular material and improves mass transfer to and from interfaces. At high intensities, extraction processes can be further improved with the disruption of cell walls and the release cellular materials.
Ultrasonic extraction has been shown to be highly effective on a number of products (quoting from Mason 1998):
> Extraction of sugar from sugar beet When ultrasound was applied to sugar beet, cavitation resulted in cell disruption and subsequent release of cellular material into the bulk medium. The microstreaming effects (high velocity liquid that results from the collapse of cavitation bubbles and creates microcurrents) that also occurred resulted in enhanced mass transfer. These combined effects provided a more efficient method for beet sugar extraction.
> Extraction of protein from meat. When applied to meat, high powered ultrasound disrupts the myofibrils, which then releases a proteinaceous exudate that can be used to bind the meat together. The binding strength, water holding capacity, colour and yield of the material extracted using ultrasonics were superior to proteinaceous materials produced with other conventional extraction technologies. This can be applied to 'manufactured meats' such as re-structured beef and rolls of cured ham, and allows products to be produced with lower sodium chloride concentrations than other technologies.
> Extraction of rennin. High powered ultrasound increased both the yield and activity of rennin (the enzyme used to assist the coagulation of casein in the manufacture of cheese) compared to conventional extraction technologies (Zayas 1986).
> Extraction of protein from defatted soy beans A continuous, particularly efficient process was developed for the sonication of soy protein using a 550 W ultrasonic probe operating at a frequency of 20kHz. This resulted in increased yields and significantly reduced process times compared to other technologies.
> The extraction of tea solids, the starting materials for instant tea, can be improved by the use of ultrasound. Mason & Zhao (1994) reported a 20% increase in the extraction of solids from tea leaves by incorporating ultrasound at 60 degrees C into the process, compared to steeping in hot water at 90-100 degrees C which impacts adversely on some of the volatile components. The application of ultrasound also reduced the time for the process as the majority of the material was extracted in the first 10 mins of sonication.