Combined Processing Technologies


Combining Processing Technologies

applications-science-2Draco’s cutting edge processing technologies can be combined to produce extracts with unique characteristics for your specialized needs.  Draco currently produces extracts using 3 primary extraction technologies.

Any 1, 2, or all 3 of our processing technologies can be used to produce new ingredients:

Full Spectrum Pure Water Extraction – Draco’s state-of-the-art flagship extraction technology that brings you the full spectrum of constituents in the balanced proportions that nature intended.

Supercritical CO2 Fluid Extraction – Using pressurized liquid form CO2 as an extraction solvent, we are able to more effectively produce extractions with  rich oil and other non-polar lipiphilic compound content.

Fermentation Bioprocessing – Controlled fermentation at specific time intervals during the exrraction process can create new compounds that help enhance the bioactivity and bioavailabilty of the final ingredient.


    • Utilize the most efficient processes for each ingredient
    • Develop a custom ingredient with unique profile advantage
    • Turn a commodity based extract into a custom ingredient
    • Be able to prove functionality with bioassay testing of customized ingredients
    • Enhanced bioactivity with unique fingerprinted profile
    •  Achieve proprietary status and intellectual property by customizing your ingredient

The 3 Technologies:

1 Draco Full Spectrum Standardized Extraction Process

Draco’s unique water extraction process ensures that biologically active polysaccharide compounds, which have antioxidant, immune enhancing, and metabolic effects, and are found in higher amounts in therapeutic mushrooms, many different kinds of herbs including astragalus, ginseng, lycii berry, and seaweeds, will be present in the highest possible levels in the extract. Many non-aqueous solvent based extraction processes do not allow extraction of these vital compounds. A full spectrum of herbal constituents, ranging from highly polar, more water soluble compounds such as flavonoids, are extracted along with more nonpolar, less water soluble constituents such as steroidal saponins, phytosterols, alkaloids, and other lipophilic compounds. There are several factors that help to make this possible. The foremost variables are the length of extraction time and the use of a closed pressured system to increase the breakage of cellulose cell walls and to bring the nonpolar constituents out of the material into the water into a type of dispersion.

In this unique type of extraction a closed system is brought to a specific temperature and pressure for that herb or herbal formula. The mixture is allowed to reiterate through cycles of evaporation and condensation over a period of time for 4 to 5 hours and in a temperature range of 80 to 90 Celsius. No added air or steam is forced into the autoclave. The increased pressure is ambient for the vapor pressure of the water and herbal volatiles that would occur at that given temperature.

In the extraction, the first constituents to dissolve in the water are those that are more polar or water soluble. These constituents are amphiphilic and have some degree of both polar and nonpolar character. The polar part of the constituent allows it to dissolve in water while the nonpolar aspect helps it to dissolve other more nonpolar compounds that have a lesser degree of water solubility. In other words, the water extraction solution with partially dissolve herbal compounds becomes a more effective solvent than water alone, exhibiting more nonpolar nature as it dissolves greater amounts of these amphiphilic compounds.

The use of a series of two condensers in the evaporative/condensation stage of the process allows for some volatile constituents to be collected, separated,  and then added back during spray drying. The herb extract contains more of the naturally occurring constituents in full spectrum proportions closer to that which was originally found in the plant and at the same time for many of the extracts, standardized to a marker compound to guarantee potency.

Since herbs are known to be a comparatively rich source of minerals, Draco Full Spectrum single herb and Action Synergized formula extracts are potentially a rich source of mineral elements which are typically found in water soluble ionic form or as constituents organically bound to amino acids or organic acids. These are all water soluble forms which Draco’s extraction process is capable of extracting due to the use of water only as a solvent. On the other hand, processes which rely on hydrocarbon chemical solvents, including hexane, acetone, ethyl acetate, or higher alcohol concentrations will have much lower amounts of mineral constituents We have tested some of our herb extracts for mineral content and found them to be at appreciably high levels.

2 Supercritical fluid CO2 extraction

A process for creating high purity extracts and oils containing non-polar, lipid soluble bioactive compounds by using supercritical fluid carbon dioxide as a solvent. The types of extracts include oils, plant essential oils, phenolic compounds of high concentration, carotenoids, flavors, fragrances, alkaloids, and other water insoluble plant compounds. These include hops alpha acids, kavalactones, and high levels of hyperforin, a major antidepressant fraction in St John’s Wort, and numerous others. Highly purified alkaloids with potent physiological effects are possible with this technology. The pain killing, non-addictive alkaloids matrine and oxymatrine from Sophora flavescens are compounds that can be highly concentrated without the need for toxic hydrocarbon solvents. Rosavin, a hydroxycinnmate compound can be extracted at higher levels than with water or alcohol for high potency mood support and energy products of very high purity.

Other products that can be extracted include highly unsaturated fragile oils with virtually non-existent peroxide values from sources such as pomegranate seed, sea buckthorn berry, flax seed, chia, borage, and evening primrose. Expeller pressed oils are often subjected to high heat from the friction and pressures employed, however CO2 extraction while under higher pressure is tightly controlled in its thermal conditions. Also, since CO2 is an inert, non-reactive gas, there is not a chance that oxidation can occur with all oxygen having been purged from the reaction vessel.

Extraction by supercritical CO2 is cleaner, safer, and more eco-friendly than other solvent extractions since it uses a nontoxic, non-flammable solvent compared to the toxic hydrocarbom solvents such as hexane, and acetone used in most. The resulting extract from a CO2 process has higher purity, is completely microbe-free due to the effects of high pressure, and is low in heavy metals and other water-soluble contaminants.

Many economically produced byproducts are possible from the food processing industry. Lycopene has been extracted from tomato seed and skins byproducts making it more cost effective. Other bioactives present in tomato seed and skin include the tocotrienols δ, γ, α, and the vitamin E tocpherols δ, γ, and α which are also vital for heart health. Raspberry seed oil has topical uses in the cosmetic industry for its emollient and UV protective effects.

3 Fermentation Bioprocessing

The benefits of fermented food are many. Fermenting partially digests food macromolecules to help us with easier digestion and assimilation. Fermented foods also help to restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut and are rich in enzymes. Natural, fermented plant extracts that are made from living cells have unique bioactive properties, and alternatively are a source of high purity bioactive compounds such as fermented metabolites, vitamins, amino acids, and organic acids. The newly generated full spectrum compounds formed during fermentation have increased bioavailability and improved water solubility. They also have enhanced taste, form, and function for food applications. Any natural plant source can be fermented, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and seaweeds. In some foods vitamin B content is increased, and the protein digestibility and protein quality are increased.  Microbiological safety and storage keeping quality can be improved in some cases (Hotz and Gibson, 2007).

Customized fermented product blends with health benefits can be made with fungi from kombucha, mushrooms, red yeast rice, and blended with fermented vegetable or grains including garlic, cabbage, douchi (black beans), purple sweet potatos, and sorghum and rice for either food or health applications. Aged garlic has better bioactivity for cholesterol lowering and a richer savory flavor. Purple sweet potato vinegar helps control blood sugar by regulating glucose uptake. Red Yeast Rice adds flavor, deep red color, and health value to Chinese foods (sweet and sour pork).

There are notable examples of fermented foods with researched health benefits. In seaweed there is increased bioavailability of minerals through fermentation, and is a wealth of mineral elements from the sea, accounting for up to 36% of its dry mass. Fermenting seaweed releases minerals from cell walls and makes them more soluble and easily absorbed, produces short chain fatty acids, and shorter chain polysaccharides. For skin health fermented sea kelp has soothing, hydrating anti-inflammatory effects. Fermented watermelon rind is another fermented food with amazing benefits. Used as a vegetable in China it is stir-fried, stewed, pickled de-skinned, and cooked. By fermenting with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae it develops improved nutritional quality, including significant increases in phenolics, flavonoids, protein, lipid, ash and crude fiber content (Erukainure). A new and promising health product is fermented bilberry for improving heart health. Yeast-fermented bilberries in the diet of animals at 0.02%, equivalent to 30 mg of anthocyanidins in humans boosted overall heart health (Mauray). At the end of a 16 week study, there was a 25% greater reduction in plaque area.