Research & development

Perform extracts on a laboratory scale prior to semi-pilot trials and select the most suitable extract through analysis

  • Formulate and validate the formula
  • Lipophilic extraction, a bio-sourced solution
  • Tournaire Equipement
  • Partners
  • Clients' expertise

After validation of your product orientation and market positioning through phase 1 of “preliminary validation”, WiNatLab’s support continues through the second phase focused on the R&D of the assets of your choice.

The R&D phase 2 is the experimental development phase that takes place before the pilot testing phase and the industrialization of a finished product. This second phase consists of carrying out work based on existing knowledge obtained through research or practical experience, with the objective of launching the manufacture of new products, establishing new processes, including improving existing ones.

The support offered through the WiNatLab collaborative platform consists here, thanks to our network of partners, to realize :

  • – The design of the protocol or the choice of technologies
  • – Extraction in laboratory
  • – The post-processing
  • – The characterization of the extract
  • – An efficiency test
  • – Then to scale-up to pilot trials in phase 3

Your role

The WiNatLab platform offers a unique “à la carte” support for the deployment of your innovation strategy. You decide which elements and services you need to build your support offer adapted to your needs and your products.

WiNatLab is a collaborative platform to support the development of your new natural actives. It serves to address your needs by eliminating the obstacles you might encounter.

After signing a WiNatLab confidentiality agreement, an exhaustive review of your project will be done with our teams. Depending on your needs and the direction of your project, we will define together a project progress plan. Throughout the R&D phase, we will inform you of key points and final developments for which you decide on the next step (Go/No go system) in order to focus and accelerate the development on your new assets.

Functional ingredients

Role of our partners

WiNatLab partners support you in this second phase of research and development by providing you with the necessary elements to move towards the pilot phase.

Most of our partners are present on this second R&D phase to bring you their support. They are :

  • – BotaniCert
  • – EcoXtract
  • – IDCO
  • – Nova Extraction


Our partner BotaniCert assists you in the design of the sample on a laboratory scale by helping you to choose the process and the technique to be used following the feasibility study or the literature review carried out in phase 1. For example, if the feasibility study shows mainly hydrophilic compounds, some technologies will be discarded, such as hexane extraction, while others will be preferred. The next step is to :

  • – Set up a customized extract at laboratory scale, defined by the design, which will then be adapted to the pilot phase.
  • – Identify (qualitative and not quantitative) markers of interest mentioned in the feasibility and bibliographic studies of phase 1
  • – Quantify these same markers on the final candidate or validated sample

This can be done, for example, by producing an extract concentrated in xanthones which allows the elimination of potentially undesirable or toxic substances.

Finally, the extract is characterized with:

  • – A characterization of the majority families of the different tests in qualitative and quantitative comparison of the different processes.
  • – A more precise identification and characterization of the selected sample with a precise dosage of the markers of interest on the selected sample.

Our partner EcoXtract brings its expertise in the use of an agro-sourced solvent as a substitute for petrochemical solvents used for lipophilic fraction extraction. It is an excellent substitute for hexane.

At this stage it is necessary to know the objectives or at least the main objective which will allow to orient the operating conditions of the extraction (temperature, pressure, number of cycles, cycle time…etc.), and the isolation of the compounds of interest and recovery of the solvent (simple distillation, under reduced pressure, molecular distillation…etc.). These elements are crucial to define the parameters for the elimination of the extraction solvent according to the desired end products. The conditions will be adapted according to the specifications. Once defined, the elements of the process will be tested on a laboratory scale to be confirmed or adjusted.

At this stage, it will also be very important to know the elements to be analyzed to meet the need. For example, if the products of interest are phenolic compounds or a volatile fraction, it will be necessary to set up the appropriate analytical methodology and to report the results of the extraction by putting forward this parameter.

Our technological partner IDCO proposes to validate, at the laboratory level, the parameters of the microwave and ultrasonic equipment before moving to the pilot phase. This includes the following steps:

  • – The provision to the customer of a laboratory equipment on its WiNatLab test platform located in Marseille
  • – The realization of in situ tests directly at the customer’s site, with possible accompaniment by IDCO experts.
  • – The definition of the specifications will allow IDCO to guide the customer in the choice of the best adapted formula.

To finish, Nova Extraction advises you on the processes of extraction of supercritical CO2 with the possibility of carrying out laboratory tests. Larger scale tests can be carried out on request.

Other partners continue to join the WiNatLab to strengthen our tailor-made offer. We are always looking for partners to join us. Contact us to be part of the WiNatLab adventure as an expert partner.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the price point of EcoXtract? What implication does this have on the cost of the final extract?

    It depends on the process and the percentage of moisture in the raw material. Solvent recycling is essential for economic balance. When using EcoXtract, the main parameters to be determined are:

    • The type of input material and its moisture content

    • The temperature, duration and number of cycles required for extraction

    • The type of desolvation (vacuum, stripping…)

    One of the strengths of this solvent, in addition to being agro-sourced, are the authorizations it has according to the markets:

    • Cosmetics – COSMOS

    • Pharmaceutical – ICH Q3C

    • Food – in progress

  • I have already done most of my R&D in-house, can I go directly to the next step?

    With WiNatLab, you choose the bricks you are interested in within the global offer. To allow us to move forward together, a complete review will be necessary in order to understand the part of the R&D already done in-house.

  • Is the signature of a confidentiality agreement with one of the WiNatLab partners valid for all WiNatlab activities and partners?

    Yes, the signature of a confidentiality agreement with one of the WiNatLab partners is valid for all the activities carried out at the WiNatLab regardless of the partner involved. This is made possible by the confidentiality agreements that exist between Nature & Technologies and each partner.

  • What is the approximate cost of a sample analysis?

    As an example, a GC-MS analysis will be charged around 220 € per unit.