This is a kind of pressurized extraction technology (low temperature fluid extraction) which is ideal for processing grape seed extracts.
Highlights of Sub-critical Extraction Process
The agent used in subcritical extraction are in form of a gas under normal pressure, although under pressurized conditions it exists in the fluid form. When the gas is under sub-critical pressure condition (0.3-0.8 MPa), it has enhanced molecular diffusion ability of extracting the solvent causing the acceleration of its transfer rate, permeability and improving its dissolving capacity notably. In addition to that, as it's a low temperature extraction technology, it protects and keeps hold of the natural active ingredient in the extraction materials.
The process of extraction is cut off from the air therefore avoiding special materials from oxidation reaction. This helps in obtaining high grade oil products same way as super-critical extraction. The sub-critical extraction technology uses much lower pressure compared to super-critical extraction therefore favoring industrialization scale production. What’s more, the extraction equipment is also much cheaper.
Benefits of Grape Seed Extracts
Grape seed extract has become a popular nutritional supplement because of its diverse health benefits. The supplement is industrially manufactured from whole grape seeds. The process makes beneficial compounds such as antioxidants readily available to the body. The extract is commercially available as syrup or in form of capsules and tablets.
Grape Seeds (left), Grape Seed Oil (mid), Grape Seed Extract Powder (right)
Although most of the health benefits have not been researched conclusively, the available evidence indicates that it could be used to treat and prevent a number of medical conditions. Here are several health benefits:
- High cholesterol and atherosclerosis are conditions that can lead to a range of heart diseases. The supplement is rich in compounds that reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body. This means that it can be used to prevent heart diseases.
- The supplement has an important compound known as proanthocyanidin which has wound healing properties. Research is yet to establish how the compound works. However, clinical trials with mice show that when grape seed extract is applied on a wound the healing time is significantly reduced.
- When combined with calcium in the diet, the supplement is known to boost bone formation. There are a number of conditions that arise as result of weak bones. Proanthocyanidin once again has been identified as the responsible compound.
- The antioxidants in grape seeds are also important in the prevention of diseases resulting from high toxins in the body such as cancer. The seed extract has been used in the treatment and prevention of skin cancer.
- There is also evidence, though scant, that the nutritional supplement can slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.