The Application of Membrane Technology in the Concentration and Purification of Plant Extracts: A Review
The obtained plants and by-products during food and agricultural manufacturing processes are sources for many bioactive components that attract industrial and academic interest. The essential method of obtaining these bioactive components is the extraction process by using solvents. The efficiency of the extraction processes mainly depends on the choice and selectivity of these solvents. However, the most challenging step is recovering the components from the solvent to obtain the active part and pure products. In this recovery process, many methods were applied, such as evaporation and adding assistant chemicals, which had many downsides as energy consumption and unwanted product. Consequently, membrane technology such as microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), membrane distillation (MD), and osmosis distillation (OD) has been applied as a new approach in concentrating plants extract. Since this new approach has proved its efficiency in this field, the main objective of this paper is to provide a review of academic studies that have addressed using different membrane techniques to concentrate the plant extracts.