Green Solvents for Food Processing

Green Solvents for Food Processing

Green Solvents for Food Processing 

Green solvents used in the food production industry, specifically food-grade solvents, are known for their high purity and safety, but not all solvents utilized in the industry are necessarily green. Food-grade solvents are solvents that are utilized in the production of or as additives in various food products, such as: 

  • Meat and poultry 
  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables 
  • Beverages 
  • Bakery goods 
  • Edible oils 

Why are these solvents used? 

One of the most important uses of green solvents is chemical extraction, which is the method of obtaining various kinds of edible oils, including hemp oil, olive oil, and seed oils. This process generally involves soaking ground-up plant material in the solvent, followed by agitation and heating of the solution to evaporate the solvent, leaving the desired oil substance behind. Choosing the right solvent for this process is extremely important to ensure efficient extraction and a high production yield.  

Aside from chemical extraction, green solvents are also used as additives in food products to enhance the flavor, change texture, or prolong the shelf life of a product. For example, citric acid is a common additive in certain carbonated beverages because of its characteristic citrus flavor.  

What are some examples of green solvents? 

  • Ethanol  
  • Ethyl acetate 
  • Acetone 
  • N-heptane 

Not all food-grade solvents are green solvents, but the ones listed here are commonly desirable green solvents, due to their environmental friendliness and low toxicity. Ethanol, specifically, is an extremely popular choice in the food processing industry because of its high production yield and ability to extract both oil-soluble and water-soluble components. Ethyl acetate is also a popular choice, used specifically for its flavor-enhancing properties and in coffee decaffeination processes.  

Interested in Green Solvents for Extraction? 

Extraction Grade Solvents provides a selection of high-quality solvents for all extraction applications. If you are interested in finding the best product for your business needs, you may browse our selection of products here! For assistance in finding the perfect product for your needs, reach out to our staff here today!