FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

We’ve taken the liberty of supplying answers to some of the questions we hear most. Got a question we haven’t covered? Feel free to Contact Us.

Radient’s MAP™ technology is based on a method of transferring energy to a material that is fundamentally different from any other conventional process. MAP™ involves the selective and localized heating of the moisture present in all-natural materials using microwaves as the energy source. This results in a rapid buildup pressure within cells leading to a pressure-driven enhanced mass transfer of target compounds out of the source material. This mechanism for extraction is unique to MAP™ and results in very fast extraction rates and high extraction yield.

In addition, because the microwave energy is selectively deposited in the target biomass and not in the surrounding solvent, the mixture stays cool, leading to energy efficiency and reduced heat degradation of sensitive bioactive compounds. A further important feature of Radient’s MAP™ technology is the ability to control extraction time and temperature, both of which greatly affect extract purity and profile. Radient’s continuous-flow MAP™ extractor enables precise control over of temperature and extraction time, ensuring that any possible side effects of excessive heating can be minimized and that all material is extracted for the same time at the same temperature.

Yes. Microwaves are a source of energy – they can heat materials, but they do not otherwise change the chemical or molecular structure of them. When microwaves are absorbed by a material containing water, the water molecules will begin to vibrate, producing heat, which causes a pressure-driven extraction process. Microwaves are a safe way to heat materials in a controlled environment, but they do not make things radioactive.

When compared to competing conventional extraction methods, Radient's MAP™ platform offers the following competitive advantages:

  • Much faster extraction rates leading to reduced processing time, increased throughput and reduced processing and capital costs;
  • Efficient "single stage" extraction leading to increased overall recovery / yield of valuable active compounds and reduced solvent and energy usage;
  • Reduced heat degradation of sensitive molecules leading to improved products;
  • Improved extraction selectivity and purity leading to novel, differentiated products;
  • Improved solvent flexibility leading to the potential to replace toxic solvents with more acceptable alternatives;
  • Ease of commercial scalability; and
  • Improved customer acceptance of products made through "cleaner, greener" technology.

By significantly reducing extraction time, often from hours to minutes, it is possible to increase throughput, thereby reducing processing time and lowering labour and overhead costs per unit of product produced. Additionally, MAP™ significantly reduces the amount of solvent used, further lowering overall production costs.

Conventional diffusion-driven solvent extraction processes are slower and eventually reach an equilibrium point before full exhaustion of the active of interest from the biomass. In order to achieve a reasonable yield, therefore, it is usually necessary to extract in multiple “stages”, often with fresh solvent in each stage, leading to high solvent usage, as well as higher energy consumption to recover the large amount of solvent from the product, and reduced purity of the actives of interest in the final extract. With Radient’s MAP™ pressure-driven process it is often possible to achieve efficient, full extraction in a single stage, leading to reduced solvent and energy usage.

Additionally, with MAP™, the microwave energy is selectively deposited in the core of the biomass while the surrounding solvent absorbs less energy and remains relatively cool.  Because of this, thermally unstable compounds spend only a brief time at an elevated temperature and less degradation and higher purity is often observed in the final extract.

With MAPTM, there are also more processing variables available to manipulate: in addition to solvent composition, temperature and extraction time, the applied microwave energy and power density, microwave duration and post-microwave diffusional mixing can be varied to more selective extractions, in some cases leading to a different variety of product profiles than would be achieved with conventional extraction methods.

The Radient Solution is firmly aligned with the principles of "green chemistry", which is concerned with developing processes and products to reduce or eliminate hazardous substances.  One of the goals of green chemistry is to prevent pollution at its source, as opposed to dealing with pollution after it has occurred.  Radient's proprietary extraction technology allows for more efficient extraction of starting raw materials, lower temperature processing, the use of more benign solvents and lesser quantities of solvent and energy.

Applicability has been established across a broad range of natural biomass inputs including plant matter, algae, fungi, and microbial biomass. The starting material needs to be solid but can be dried, as long as the residual water content is greater than 5%.

We do not recommend using the microwave technology to extract proteins, carbohydrates or nucleic acids.

Radient has a great deal of experience in extracting, isolating and purifying food/nutraceutical ingredients (colourings, flavourings, preservatives etc), ingredients used in personal care and cosmetics products, and pharmaceutical raw materials.

Radient is the only company in the world capable of delivering the competitive advantages of the MAPTM microwave-assisted natural product extraction technology at commercially relevant scales, in particular with respect to throughput, efficiencies and breadth of applications across multiple verticals.  

Radient's extraction process has successfully used a wide variety of solvents including ethanol, hexane, and acetone, as well as mixtures of solvents or solvents and water. Highly aqueous or polar solvents are typically not suitable.

Radient understands the need for its partners to keep their Intellectual Property completely confidential and secure. We have worked with many world-leading companies and have in place a strict IP protection program. Please contact us if you have questions about IP.