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EFSA gives green light to EcoXtract® solvent

18 Mar 2022

The European Food Safety Authority has issued its opinion on the biobased solvent EcoXtract® composed of 2-Methyloxolane, stating that it can be safely used for the extraction of edible vegetable oils. This opinion was the last lock to be lifted to allow its use in the food industry.
A biosourced solvent, less toxic and renewable

This new solvent has many advantages compared to the technological axillary used today. It is less toxic, renewable insofar as it is produced from agri-food by-products (sugar cane bagasse for example). Easy to detect in case of non-compliance with the procedures of recovery and elimination of finished products, it will be able to replace the solvent of petroleum origin that is the hexane which, until now, had no substitute in the industry.
Originally, a project led by Terres Inovia

At the origin of this solvent, there is a project led by Terres Inovia in collaboration with the Green laboratory of the University of Avignon and the industrial Saipol.

This project, developed as part of a thesis, identified 2-Methloxolane as the best solvent candidate among a panel of biosourced products. The company Pennakem, which produces and markets this solvent for use in the synthesis of pharmaceutical products, has continued and expanded on the results of Anne-Gaëlle Sicaire's thesis.
The culmination of ten years of work

On the basis of positive results, this company has provided the elements of a toxicity study file to request an opinion from EFSA, a necessary step for use as a food processing aid. The publication of this opinion is the end of a decade of work that now provides a very complete technical file on the use of this solvent and answers the questions that crushers have.
First applications in the production of vegetable proteins

An industrial unit has already been converted in Great Britain for the production of oils for cosmetic use. In France, Ademe and INRAE have launched a major research program on oil cakes produced with this solvent. The first applications in the food industry could concern the production of vegetable proteins for human consumption, for which it is always preferable to start with products delipidated at low temperature.

For more information, see the EcoXtract press release

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