Common Knowledge:29.What is Micro-Encapsulation?

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Common Knowledge In a liquid mixture, molecules can either be in solution, or suspension, or they will precipitate (settle out and usually to the bottom or top). Molecules (in our case, phytochemicals) that have been extracted by a solvent from the plant material, will precipitate out if the solvent is removed.

What is Micro-Encapsulation?

 In a liquid mixture, molecules can either be in solution, or suspension, or they will precipitate (settle out and usually to the bottom or top). Molecules (in our case, phytochemicals) that have been extracted by a solvent from the plant material, will precipitate out if the solvent is removed.

 We remove solvent, and so to prevent precipitation, we encapsulate (surround) the solutes with other molecules to, in a sense, isolate them from the remaining solvent deficient liquid. The microsphere is called a micelle and they range from 1 to a 100 microns in size. Regular tinctures or fluid extracts are usually at saturation or below when newly made, and suffer precipitation due to agglomerization of solutes as they age since their solvents (a mixture of alcohol and water) are left in.

 Where the manufacturers try to remove their solvents through evaporation, they get precipitation of the phytochemicals, which they filter off if their final product is a liquid. The mixture can still be at "saturation" (meaning its holding all the molecules in solution that it can) however, part of the herb has been lost (filtered or decanted away). It is no longer "wholistic" at that point. If all the liquid is evaporated, then everything left is a precipitate and the extract is known as a concrete. It may, however, be un-absorbable by the body at this point.

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