Indiana Patent of the Month – January 2022

Herbal extracts are often added to oral products to try and improve oral hygiene. This could be through tartar control agents or antibacterial agents into products like toothpaste, mouth rinse, gums and lozenges. While incredibly effective, they often have off-putting tastes and are unlikely to be used by repeat customers. Sensient Flavors, LLC has developed a system of producing herbal extracts that results in a better flavor composition.

The method works to make a herbal extract from herbs including:

  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Ginger
  • Lavender, and more. 

The process uses three key steps:

  • Low temperature liquid CO2-alcohol extraction process; 
  • Low vacuum distillation process; and
  • A molecular distillation process. 

The combination of these steps provides a highly concentrated, low color, high flavor and antimicrobial activity herbal extract. With the example of thyme, the extract will end up with a minimum inhibitory concentration of approximately 3%. This means it will work to inhibit the growth of microbes, working to improve oral health after use. The final extract has a great flavor while still imparting oral health benefits. The process can be tweaked (eg. changing concentrations or ratios of liquid CO2) for any herb to be processed, allowing for a wide range of flavors.

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