iBET has a strong expertise regarding the isolation of bioactive ingredients from food and other natural sources, including botanicals and agri-food by-products or industrial waste streams
Green technologies and eco-design practices are applied for the production of enriched bioactive natural ingredients. The team is specially focused on the development and improvement of integrated green processes. These processes go from separation/extraction to encapsulation methodologies for the preservation/solubility enhancing and targeted delivery of bioactives
At iBET we have been working with several natural matrices including fresh or processed food (fruits, fruit juices, olive oil, wine and agri-food industry by-products) aiming at identifying bioactive compounds with health benefits and to design optimal, effective and sustainable separation processes suitable for obtaining concentrates enriched in well-defined target compounds. Methodologies used try to be in line with the principles of “eco-design” and “Green Chemistry”:
Pressurized Liquid Extraction
Use of water and/or ethanol at high pressures and mild temperatures.
Supercritical Fluid Extraction
Using CO2 for the isolation of compounds with different biological activities.
Membranes Separation Processes
Design, implementation and scale-up of separation processes based on membrane technology.
Solid and liquid adsorption with macro porous resins and biopolymers.
Ionic liquids and eutectic solvents for extraction and fractionation of phytochemicals.
Physical pre-treatments, such as milling, maceration, ultrasounds, microwaves and high-pressure, high-temperature in combination and integration with other already mentioned technologies.
ENCAPSULATION & MICRONIZATION
Methodologies for the precipitation (micro/nano scale), encapsulation and impregnation of low-molecular weight compounds, with the purpose of preparing delivery systems (controlled and targeted) for solubility enhancement, improve cellular uptake and protection from degradation. Most of the work related is driven to the cosmetics or food industry and pharmaceutical as potential solutions to real problems or as alternatives to conventional methodologies. Our knowhow spans from fundamental studies up to evaluating the cytotoxicity of the systems developed.
Optimization of Stability/Shelf Life
Design of particle systems that enhance physical and chemical stability of bioactive compounds.
Development of adequate and efficient micro/nanoparticulate systems to improve the solubility/bioavailability of bioactive compounds, offering great control over their release rate.
Compatibility with Target Final Products
Use of biocompatible and biodegradable nano-matrixes; the obtained products are tested to ensure their biocompatibility through cytoxicity tests.