Science & Skin


Learning with McCell - part 1: Extraction

In our new series, McCell is explaining complex technical processes at Mibelle Biochemistry. This project has been initiated by our apprentices, who follow closely McCell in his new area - so let's see what McCell is teaching us today in his first session, which is all about Extraction!

Definition / Explanation:

The extraction is a technique to separate different components from an extraction matrix (1). One of the separated components is the active component.

An extraction can be compared with making a cup of tea.

Scope of application:

With this method active components can be unhinged from natural products, e.g. Sulforaphane from Swiss garden cress sprouts or casticin from monk’s pepper berries.

The active Component is more concentrated in the extract, than inside the extraction matrix.

Mode of operation:

The desired component is bound inside the extraction matrix. An appropriate extracting solvent (2) does not mix or very badly mix with the extraction matrix. Different components, including the desired component, will be laid off from the extraction matrix and will be gripped by the extracting solvent. All the separated components in the extracting solvent together are called extract. For a good extract, the active component must be better soluble in the extracting solvent than in the extraction matrix. In a good extract the active component is more concentrated than in the extraction matrix. That means, you need to consume or apply less of the extract, to have the same impact, as if you would consume or apply the extraction matrix.

Product examples:
  • AnaGainTM: pea sprouts extract
  • Detoxophane and Sulfora White: Swiss garden cress sprouts extract
  • Happybelle-PE: monk’s pepper berries extract
  • SunActin: sunflower sprouts extract


(1)  Composition from liquid and solid, which includes the active component.

(2)  Solvent, in which the active component can be solved.

Written by

Mike Rimann & Jasmin Leonhardt