What are Solvents?
People will often hear the word solvent and grow concerned, especially when we use it in the same sentence of something that is edible. It’s a reasonable response to be worried, but any solvents used in extraction for an edible product will always be safe and used appropriately. The most common solvent used in the case of food or other edible products would be Hexane, which has low VOC- volatile organic compounds- and produces no fumes or odors when used, making it safe to use on products that are edible by the consumer. Not to mention it also has a low boiling point which makes it very easy and fast to use compared to other possible solvents.
Hexane Use in Extraction
But how to properly use Hexane in the extraction process? Using nuts that can be used to create a variety of oils as an example, the process usually consists of steaming or pressing the nuts in order to get the intended product. These processes are usually lengthy and at times, very expensive to do. However, with the use of solvents, the process is streamlined in that simply mixing it with the product in question will pull out the desired oils. When the mixture is boiled, the solvent then evaporates and leaves only the plant’s resources behind which makes it easy to collect and create the desired final product.
It’s good to be aware of the process used to create everyday items, especially when they are consumables, and learning about solvents is just a step of that process. Solvents with each passing day are developing as well, becoming more accessible and more environmentally friendly, making them an increasingly picked method.
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