After harvesting a certificate of analysis is made of the plantmaterial.
For drying we use 3 drying floors of each 15 m2. Smaller harvests are dried in a box-dryer with a capacity of 50 boxes (each 0,25 m3). The box-dryer is also used to complement the floor drying of herbs; for example st john's wort flowers and althea, which often take a longer time before being completely dry.
The drying air always passes through a solar-collector (400 m2) which minimizes the need for supplementary energy. The drying process is normally finished within 2 days.
The drying temperature remains under 35 degrees Celcius in order to minimise the loss of active ingredients.
Prior to drying, certain species such as echinacea purpurea, agrimonia, viola tricolor are coarsely cut to reduce the time of drying. The normal cutting size is 2-6 mm. After sorting, cutting and seeving, the herbs are packed in paperbags of which can contain 10 kg.
Medicinal plants, intended for freezing are often already coarsely cut (10 mm) after harvesting and packed in pe-bags. To freeze larger quantities rapidly, each bag is loosely stacked in boxes during the freezing process. After being thoroughly frozen, the bags are packed more compact in the carton boxes. Quantities vary from only several kg's of frozen celandine-root (chelidonium) to more than 5000 kg's of flowering red coneflower.
The availability of frozen plantmaterial enables the export of fresh plantmaterial for further processing abroad, or production of extracts of fresh (frozen) plantmaterial at anytime of the year.. But the use of frozen material is not without discussion. We prefer making our extracts at the moment of the actual harvest.
We are specialised in the preparation of fresh plant-extracts according to the guidelines of the German Homeo Pharmacopea (GHP).We can also provide extracts based on oil/glycerol or press juices according to customer's specifications. Techniques used are extraction by maceration, percolation and vacuum-distillation; separation by vacuum-filtration or centrifugation and concentration/standarisation by vacuum-distillation . Being a raw-material supplier of active ingredients to the phytotherapeutic industry; our production facilities are adapted to the newest GMP rules and regulations.
After the plants have been approved for further processing, they are cut to an optimal size best suited for that specific plant (extraction). Extraction liquid is added to the plant-pulp in stainless steel- or hdpe vessels. The extraction liquid generally consists of 50 to 80 %v/v ethanol, depending on the GHP guidelines. For the duration of several weeks the mixture is left to extract at room temperature (maceration) and is stirred regularly.
Finally the plantpulp is being pressed using a flat tray-press. On the basis of analysis of the dry matter content, specific mass and identity reactions, the tincture is approved. We only use ethylalcohol of certified organic origin (NOP) and of pharmaceutical quality (96,4% v/v). Water is uv-treated and /or aqua purificata (ph eur).