Arkopharma has always used the latest-generation techniques to establish phytotherapy’s status as an independent branch of medicine. As early as 1985, Arkopharma pioneered innovative manufacturing processes for plant powders and set up a cryogenic grinding facility that enables all of the plant’s active ingredients to be fully retained in the final product.
Why do we use cryogenic grinding?
Medicinal plants contain thousands of constituents, all of which are potentially active.
In order to obtain plant powders that preserve as many constituents as possible, we have to ensure that these constituents are retained and protected throughout the entire manufacturing process. Cryogenic grinding is a high-performance process that preserves all the constituents, along with the synergy that operates between them.
Thanks to this process, chemical solvents are not required for extraction, and the plants we select provide us with high doses of active ingredients while at the same time preserving all the natural substances that work together in synergy to ensure we get the best out of those ingredients.
WHAT IS ACTIVE SYNERGY?
A plant’s constituents are what characterize it and define its quality. However, it’s important to know that a plant’s activity doesn’t just depend on any single constituent, but rather on the result of interactions between all its constituents: this is what we call “synergy”.
We also use the term “potentialization” to express the idea that a combination is more active than each of its individual constituents considered in isolation.
Cryogenic grinding: how does it work?
Once the plants have been rigorously selected and subjected to a range of botanical, bacteriological, and physico-chemical tests to guarantee their quality, they are cut into smaller pieces and fed into the grinder immersed in nitrogen at very low temperatures (below -60°C). Nitrogen, which is chemically inert and naturally present in the air, protects the plant’s components against oxidation due to contact with the air, and the cold temperatures prevent any decomposition caused by the mechanical heat energy produced during traditional grinding.
By lowering the temperature, nitrogen helps freeze the plant, which becomes easier to crush, resulting in a more effective grinding process.
In this way, all the fragile substances (vitamins, enzymes, volatile substances and other thermolabile active ingredients) are not damaged by heat, and at the end of the process, a perfectly fine, homogeneous powder is obtained: total extract or plant totum, also known as ARKOTOTUM® Intégral.
What are the benefits of very low temperatures?
It’s important to know that, in the case of traditional grinding, the high temperatures produced can damage or even destroy the most fragile molecules. In contrast, cryogenic grinding preserves the plant’s components throughout every stage of manufacture. The key element is nitrogen, which also protects plants against the effects of contact with the air, which would otherwise lead to decomposition via oxidation.
To summarize, cryogenic grinding preserves the totality of the plant and ensures that none of its constituents are lost. Thanks to the exceptionally fine powder obtained, the plant’s constituents are released more quickly, which makes them easier to assimilate.
Benefits of cryogenic grinding
- No heating;
- No oxidation;
- Quality of the ingredients preserved after grinding;
- Homogeneous size of the particles obtained;
- Safe, inert atmosphere.