Stevia Extraction Technologies and Recent Developments

Scientific and honest information about industrial extraction technologies of stevia are very scarce in public domain. Whenever a person starts looking for basic information about the extraction technology options, he encounters the following things –

  1. Patents documents written in mystic language – which hide more that they reveal

  2. Webpages of technology developers – who often make unjustifiable tall claims and use a lot of marketing jargons

  3. Research papers – Some are legit and others are fakes – but all of them are too technical.   

 

In this webpage, I am presenting a collection of articles on steviol glycoside extraction technology. In these articles, I tried to explain the basics of extraction technology in simple language. It is my humble endeavor for dissemination of honest information for the benefit of all interested readers.

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I am now looking for overseas technology partners for jointly working for technology dissemination. The objective for the collaboration will be –

  1. Establishing local single window facilities for technical assistance to Stevia Start Ups

  2. Jointly executing overseas turnkey project

  3. Promotion of location specific appropriate technology

  4. Assimilation of local home-grown technologies and their commercialization.

 

I am looking forward to establish long-term relationship based on mutual trust and simultaneous growth. If you are interested…….kindly drop a message.   

New Methods for Activated Carbon Decolorization in Stevia Extraction

 

In the extraction and purification process of steviol glycosides has several steps which involve removal of coloured components from liquid extract by activated carbon. Activated carbon treatment is a very delicate unit process which needs proper equipment and precision process control. The conventional Chinese origine extraction process engineering is yet to assimilate the modern methods of activated carbon treatment. Thus, very often the extraction units end up with activated carbon treatment units with primitive design with very low efficiency and high process time.

 

Let us discuss about some modern activated carbon treatment systems and equipments which may be integrated into the extraction process for higher process efficiency and lower processing cost.

 

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Use of ion exchange resins, chemical flocculating and chelating agents and solvents in the conventional extraction and purification process of steviol glycosides seemed as incompatible to its “natural” and “organic” image to a group of workers. To address these issues, the membrane filtration based extraction technology has been proposed.

The essential features of this technology are as follows –

  1. Apart from water, no other solvent is used in the process

  2. Steviol glycosides are purified only on the basis of physical filtration

Recently, this technology is often being promoted as the “Holy grail” of extraction processes. But, like all other process technologies, it has also its pros and cons. Here, I am trying to “demystify” the process through a simple process description and discussions about its advantages and drawbacks.

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Produced by nutrition from earth, rain and sunshine from a plant…….found by ancient wisdom

Produced by a genetically modified organisms in an industrial setup utilizing inorganic/synthetic nutrients

small scale stevia extraction

I have started working on a micro-scale Stevia extraction set up. The objective of the work is to standardize a system, which can be accommodated on few tables….but capable of producing steviol glycoside economically. In short, I am trying to break the “scale of economy” barrier. The system is actually a miniaturization of the industrial process, to be used as process modification and standardization platform. For this process, I have worked out the engineering details and standardized the process parameters for an electro-coagulation system for clarification of the water extract. This process does not require use of hazardous chemical flocculants like Calcium Hydroxide, Ferric Chloride of Alums. We are now one more step closer to absolute organic extraction process.    

stevia electrocoagulation
Water extraction and clarification