A whole range of non-food applications of agricultural resources is represented by the extraction of various molecules and active ingredients. This extraction is carried out using different processes, several of which are still at the laboratory stage.
This field, known as “green chemistry”, opens up doors to important areas, and could have hitherto undiscovered applications. In economic terms, the impact varies depending on the components extracted and purified.
The pharmaceutical sector is very keen on any new development involving the extraction of molecules or synthons. The plant world has been a source of raw materials since time immemorial. However, new processes and their systematisation into production processes allow for the increased development and marketing of products designed to meet consumer expectations.
Like the pharmaceutical sector, the world of cosmetics consumes plant-based resources. This is dictated by consumer expectations, in terms of the quality and the image conveyed by products. In particular with regards hygiene and ecology; the inclusion of purified components of plant origin is of growing interest to consumers.
Different physical, chemical and physico-chemical processes now allow for the identification, extraction, purification and recombination of primary chemical molecules and chains, the primary chains of new products. Many sectors are diversifying or replacing chemical molecules with the new ‘greener’ ones (pharmaceutical, cosmetics, etc.).