Trends and Applications of Molecular Distillation in Pharmaceutical and Food Industries

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Separation and Purification Reviews

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Introduction: Molecular distillation (MD) is a physical separation method that was developed for several applications in petrochemical, food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Early industrial applications were most prominent in the petrochemical industry and in the food industry for vegetable oil refinement. During the past two decades, MD has gained a renewed attention and its applications have expanded to include purification and enrichment of bioactive compounds from natural product extracts and in nutraceuticals production. Objectives: This review highlights, from a chemical perispective, applications and potential future MD development in the fields of pharmaceutics and natural product chemistry. Literature review: A brief summary to outline the MD concept and the factors to be considered in designing efficient MD experiments is provided. Recent MD applications in the production and refinement of raw materials to be used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and nutraceutical industries are analyzed. This review further discusses future development in MD to expand its appliaction for refinement and purification of fixed oils, essential oils and plant extracts.

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