The stages in botanical extraction: from sourcing to extract production

As a supplier of natural ingredients for your nutraceutical and agri-food formulations, Natural Origins focuses not only on sourcing and cutting, but also on botanical extraction. In order to meet the needs of our customers in their various projects, we offer a customised solution: health extracts from our Life Science & Nutrition product range and 'Taste' extracts for the Food & Beverage category, which enhance the organoleptic profile of botanicals as well as their sensorial properties. Whatever the field of application of your finished products, find below our expertise from sourcing to the production of botanical extracts, starting with our new industrial site.



Our new production site


All our activities, from raw material processing and extraction to storage, are now grouped together at Soyons near Valence on a single site, the only one of its kind in France. This means we can handle the entire production chain. At the cutting edge of technology, we use high-performance tools that enable us to ensure control, reliability and traceability of the production process.

In addition, we take into account eco-responsible issues in line with our CSR commitments, via energy optimisation (solar panels and LED lighting enabling us to reduce electricity consumption, energy recovery from evaporation and cooling systems). Our environmental commitment is also reflected in eco-extraction, cleaning using organic products and optimising our water consumption (electrolysis treatment, recycling of cooling pump water).



Sourcing and quality control


In order to offer you the best botanicals in terms of organoleptic qualities (taste, colour, etc.) and/or health claims, Natural Origins offers a distinctive sourcing approach that guarantees an optimal sensory profile by using unique ingredients.


Sourcing of our raw materials

Natural Origins sources its botanicals in over 60 countries, in collaboration with a number of long-standing partners. Our chosen supply chains in these exceptional terroirs and the expertise of our local farmers enable us to offer you products made from finely selected botanicals. We are also committed to responsible, transparent and demanding production. Our harvesting and sourcing methods help us to establish a model that can be reproduced from one year to the next.


Botanicals derived from reliable and sustainable supply chains

Natural Origins currently holds two certifications (Organic and Fair for Life) and one label (For Life), which attest to the high standards of quality and human and environmental involvement in our supply chains.

The For Life label covers corporate social responsibility (CSR), with the implementation of a responsible sourcing policy, while the Fair for Life label covers fair trade products.


Seasonal harvests

Because our botanicals are harvested at the right time of year to guarantee the quality of the extracts, they retain their organoleptic profile intact. Seasonality is the essential criterion for obtaining the maximum aromatic potential from the ingredients. Their high nutrient content is also preserved.


Quality control

Natural Origins carries out strict and systematic quality control of its botanical ingredients, which are free from contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals.



The R&D laboratory


The mission of our R&D laboratory is to carry out new developments in response to both customer briefs and to our in-house product design needs.

Botanical extracts, blends and powders are developed on a laboratory scale in order to fine-tune the processes required for their industrial production. In the specific case of botanical extraction, we carry out:


  • Physical chemical and microbiological analyses to meet the criteria specified in our technical data sheets and to release the batch.
  • Laboratory tests to define the extraction parameters (temperature, extraction time, solvent, extraction ratio, etc.).
  • Process optimisation to ensure reproducibility and extract quality (standardisation, organoleptic profile, taste, etc.).

In addition, if a referenced botanical does not meet our specifications, we carry out new sourcing and then study the behaviour of this new botanical ingredient during extraction in order to offer you the best possible solution.


The botanical extraction process


Using our portfolio of raw materials and our optimised, flexible and versatile production site, we can offer you customised botanical extracts. Our botanicals are processed using a secure control process following quality control on reception at the production site.

The raw materials treatment process involves the following steps: 


1. Extraction

The cut botanicals are loaded into the percolator and are mixed with water or ethanol to extract their active ingredients. Only the insoluble components and the botanicals that have been depleted of their active ingredients are retained by the filter. After filtration (which eliminates residues, dust, etc.), we obtain a pure extract that is ready to be concentrated.
At each stage of production, fully automatic control and pilot ensure the optimisation of our industrial process.
In addition, our extraction system is equipped with a method for recovering the aromatic volatile fraction of the botanicals. This enables us to isolate this fraction, which is generally eliminated and degraded during conventional extraction processes. By reincorporating it at the end of the process, we can preserve the botanical's aromatic profile.
The spent grains can also be recycled for other industries. 


2. Concentration process

The extract, filtered in liquid form, is then concentrated via a heating and blending process that causes the water and ethanol to evaporate. The darker extract obtained is then collected and the Brix, which guarantees its stability, is measured.


3. Pasteurisation

The extract is then pasteurised to ensure microbiological conformity and product stability.
For liquid formulations, the concentrated extract is mixed with water, ethanol or glycerine.


4. Drying

Our drying tower enables us to obtain powder extracts from concentrated liquid extracts. Depending on the formulation of each product, we add a carrier before drying to standardise the extracts.
The concentrated extract is mixed with maltodextrin, gum arabic or tapioca, according to the customer's brief.


5. Sample library and storage

Samples from these different productions are kept in a "sample library" and 3,000 of them are sent to our customers each year to assess their quality and develop future innovations.

Product extracts standardised into active ingredients or ratio extracts are packaged in 20kg bags and then stored in a 4,500 m² storage area or in a refrigerated room, depending on the type of preservation required (royal jelly, for example).



Botanical Studio®


As part of your development work with our Botanical Studio®, you can discover, test and appreciate our extracts. Each of our extracts has health benefits and/or aromatic properties, as well as sensory (taste, smell, texture, colour) and physical (solubility, density, stability, etc.) characteristics tailored to nutraceuticals, wellness products and foods including beverages.

From the origin of the botanical to its processing, from the customer brief to development, we work with you to create the 'signature' ingredient for your innovations that represents genuine added value.

Discover our entire portfolio of natural ingredients to make the most of their qualities and benefits in your formulations, with the following characteristics:

•    Standardisation into active ingredients targeting a specific health benefit.
•    Origin for your brand story or local supply chains based on ethical grounds.
•    Taste to bring out all the organoleptic qualities of the botanicals (TGE).
•    Solubility for better integration into your drinks (vials, shots etc…) (CWS).




Please feel free to contact us.

To see our entire product range, check out our online catalogue available 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK.

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Teas & Herbal Infusions, Food & Beverage, Life Science & Nutrition, Spirits & Beers

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Chloé Blanchard

Chloé Blanchard

Life Science & Nutrition Product Manager

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