Powerful Berries | Evonik

Powerful Berries | Evonik

October 16, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer


Hi. I’m in Norway, surrounded by the most
beautiful nature. And in Scandinavia lots of bilberries grow. Today I’d like to introduce you to someone who really has a crush on those little berries. Sjur, you really do love those berries, don’t you? Yes, they are fantastic. Actually it started 30 years ago at the University of Bergen. They were looking for
substances that had medical effects. They actually scanned about five
thousand different plants. And they found that some molecules in blueberries were extremely good. Those substances are called anthocyanins. We use 17 of those putting them into a capsule and then we started making Medox®. Here we’ve got those little power
berries, but they look very different from the ones I know from the German supermarket. What’s the difference? Yes, they are very different. If you see, when I’m crushing this, you can see that it is black or blue color all through. If you do the same with a berry that you buy on the supermarket it will be white inside. Meaning that there will be more anthocyanins in this little berry here from the woods than there will be in the berry that you buy in the supermarket. And actually the anthocyanins are the immune system for the berries. Meaning, that if they have very bad growing conditions with little sun, much rain, much wind and cold weather, there is more anthocyanins in the
berries that have been grown in the wood than those that have been grown in the
greenhouse or further south, you know you. You do use the power of those anthocyanins from the berries for Medox®. So, would you mind showing me the production process? Yes, I would be very glad to do that. Evonik acquired Medox® producer MedPalett in the norwegian town of Sandnes in 2016. The plant is in the south of the country and has only about twenty employees, which makes it one of
the smallest in the entire Evonik group. So, Sjur, this is how the berries arrive here? Yes, this is how the berries arrived from the northern scandinavian woods. And they are highly concentrated when they arrive here. It’s mostly cells, blueberry-cells, in order to get the optimum concentration of anthocyanins. So, if we should proceed looking into the process, we could ask my friend Fredrik to explain
a little bit about that. Hi, Fredrik. Nice to meet you. This is the first step. We put a billberry press cake into these tanks and we do the extraction. And we start the tank so that they are moving a bit. And then the anthocyanins from the Bilberry press cake will end up in the liquid, instead of the press cake. So, what’s happening here? This is our evaporator. And this is our concentration step. where we remove a lot of the liquid
to concentrate the product. And next, the product will go into further
purification steps. Yes, let’s see. So we’ve got some columns here. These are columns and we add our anthocyanins from the top. The anthocyanins they will
bind to the column material and stay there. And free acids and sugars will flush
out with the purified water. So, anthocyanins they will stay there for some hours and we will collect them later on in a fraction. This machine dries the liquid. The result is a dark fine powder. It is put in the capsule. Sjur, I’m coming right from the production
process Fredrik showed me. I brought the product with me. So, how do I know that the power of the anthocyanins from the berries is still inside? Well, I think that
the best thing we could do, is actually to open it up. And then we’ll can see it
inside the capsules. If we put this into the water we should actually
see how it dissolves and how much color there will be from it. You can see now
that it’s really coming up. There was a lot of and to anthocyanins there. So, and have studies been carried out concerning the power of those anthocyanins from the berries? There have been 19 larger clinical studies on human beings. They are performed in universities all over the world. So the main message from these studies is, anthocyanins are able to lower chronic
inflamation. Let me thank you very much for this interesting day. I was very impressed by the power of these little berries. And I hope you enjoyed the
Bilberry trip as much as I did. See you!