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To extract the vitamin E and beta-carotene that needed as the raw materials from crude palm oil, we need to undergo transesterification process to convert the crude palm oil into methyl ester first which are easily extractable with CO2. After that, we apply a technique called Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE).
Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE).
From the phase diagram above, we can see that the phase boundary between liquid and gas does not continue infinitely like boundary between liquid and solid. It stops at a point which we called it as critical point. Above the temperature and pressure above the critical point, the phase of liquid and gases cannot be distinguished. In this technique, we use carbon dioxide (CO2) as the supercritical fluid.
The above shown is the schematic diagram of SFE apparatus. There is a CO2 tank to supply CO2 and a pressure cell to contain the sample which is methyl ester. The liquid CO2 (below 5°C , 50 bar) goes through the cooler to be cooled and then to the pump. The fluid is cooled before pumping so that it can be maintained at liquid conditions. The pump stroke here is used to compress the fluid in order to increase its pressure. Then, it will be pumped to heating zone and heated to supercritical condition. After that, this is followed by passing into the extraction vessel. Later, we pass the supercritical solvent into a vessel which pressure is lower than the extraction vessel. The density, and hence dissolving power, of supercritical fluids varies sharply with pressure, and hence the solubility in the lower density CO2 is much lower, and the material precipitates for collection. The CO2 can then be recycled.
The figure shows the recovery of carotene, vitamin E, sterols and squalene using continuous supercritical fluid extraction. The recovery of Vitamin E and carotene is quite high. The vitamin E and carotene that produced can be up to 95% concentration.
This is a new technique that replaces the normal chemical extraction technique. If we use chemical extraction, the chemical solvents may react with the active compounds and degrade them. After that, the foreign chemicals that we add in have to be removed in the final stage. To remove them, we need high temperature, the high temperature and the chemical residues may cause some effects to our products.Carbon dioxide is non-toxic, non-explosive and can be readily removed from the finished products and recycled. Besides that, it does not create waste disposal so it will not relate to environment problem.
Our product's main ingredients are green tea extract, vitamin E, beta-carotene and orange which is abundance of vitamin C. We make use of the vitamin E and beta-carotene produced from our palm oil so that we can cut the cost of production. At first stage of consideration, we have suggested to buy carrots since carrots have a lot of beta-carotene. However, after discussing with our research team and technical group members, we stick to use back our own beta-carotene produced. This can reduce our problem on finding reliable supplier. Besides, due to we have orange flavor added in the end, the adding of carrots will make the taste feel weird. Orange flavor is the most popular flavor that people like from the survey that had been conducted by our research team.
After gathering all the raw materials, we are now to the process of beadlet production. Initially, this is not the desirable form of product. The researchers had suggested us to make our product in drink form. However, there exist solubility problem. Our raw materials are fat-soluble, therefore there is problem to make them water soluble. Alternatively, beadlet production has been solution to our problem. Beadlets do not require additional modification and they reduce the need for overage, making products more cost-effective. Since this product is the first trial to other sector of industry, we need to make sure it is successful. Beadlet technology is a technology that embeds several nutrients in a single matrix.
Process of Beadlet Production:
Our ingredients chosen like beta-carotene, Vitamin E and green tea extract all are fat-soluble. Beadlet technology can make our fat-soluble ingredients to be easily dissolved in water. Beadlet production is made up from several steps:
- Form an emulsion (active ingredients + emulsifier + reducing sugar).
- Convert emulsion to droplets.
- Coat droplets with finely dispersed powders.
- Separate a dry particulate form from the remaining finely dispersed powder.
- Heat treating (90 degree C - 140 degree C) for certain time period (30 seconds - 30 minutes/ 1 minute - 10 minutes/ 3 minutes - 7 minutes).
- Final beadlet formed (This beadlet has a core and a surface region where the core has high concentration of the active-ingredients while only less than 10% of the active ingredient are left in the surface region).
Our final product had gone through clinical trial before launching to the market. In June 2009, 50 women took part in the 2 Fix Clinical Trial. The clinical trial was overseen and reviewed by independent Dermatologists and America Association for Cancer Reaseach. They were asked to consume 2 Fix for two months. After the "washout period," blood was drawn and baseline GST enzyme levels were determined for each participant. Besides, our clinical test was followed by a series of tests including Minimal Erythema Dose (MED), -Blood Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) and skin biopsies.
Results From Clinical Test:
Green tea extract contain catechins which can enhances the production of Glutathione S-transferase (GST). GST helps in detoxification of xenobiotics.GST catalyzes the formation of the thiol group of glutathione to electrophilic xenobiotics. It is found that GST activity was improved from the analysis of the participants' data.
2 Fix is clinically proven that it can increase skin's natural protective antioxidant barrier to fight those sunlight-generated free radicals. Therefore, the free radicals are stopped in their tracks and hence can help to protect the skin from sun-related damage.
Besides, 2 Fix enhances the antioxidant activity in our body so that skin aging process become slower. 2 Fix is made up of with natural antioxidants from nutrients and herbal extracts which fight free radical damage to help stop skin aging at its source.
Other than that, 2 Fix is clinically proven that it can help to make the skin tone even, results in younger-looking skin. 2 Fix promotes the even distribution of melanin and it contributes to even skin tone, diminishes the appearance of blotchy and aging skin.