For the production of health products, Visterra produces solid and dry extracts of medicinal and functional plant raw materials, concentrated berry and vegetable juices, dried berry and vegetable purees of its own production. The enterprise produces concentrated extracts of medicinal mud and red deer antlers.
The level of grinding of raw materials, the ratio of the weight of the raw material and the extractant, the extraction temperature, the number of percolations were tried and tested for more than a hundred kinds of raw materials. The main extractant is water. Note that in China, water-alcohol extraction is almost not used. Along with the traditional technologies of primary and deep processing of plant and other types of natural raw materials, Visterra has developed and uses a number of innovative technologies, including:
Production of dry extracts. When concentrating solid extracts of some types of plant raw materials and berry juices, “caramelization” occurs. To obtain dry extracts and juices, a special technology is used in which solid extracts of raw materials and concentrated juices undergo a sharp decrease in pressure. This leads to “frothing” of the extracts and a multiple increase in the free surface. As a result, the moisture disengagement is accelerated, and the processes of structuring of solid extracts are suppressed. The technology was developed in the Altai State Technical University named after I. I. Polzunov. With the assistance of technology developers, Visterra enterprise modernized the equipment and effectively uses it in production.
Processing of fresh plant raw materials has been carried out by the enterprise from the beginning of the 2000s. Extraction of fresh raw materials advantageously differs from extraction of dried raw materials. When drying raw materials, 15–25% of biologically active substances are destroyed, the quantity and quality of extractives extracted from most types of fresh raw materials are much higher than those extracted from dry raw materials. Technological methods developed at the enterprise allow to “wash” biologically active substances out of raw materials, which are not only soluble in water, but also in alcohol and other extractants. For each type of raw materials the method and the level of grinding of the raw materials are selected, the technology of the subsequent separation of the oil meal from the extract is tried and tested.
Extraction of therapeutic mud. Visterra created a technological equipment for the extraction of biologically active substances from therapeutic mud with the solution to the issues of mud preparation and recovery of a multicomponent extractant.
Technology of steam distillation of fir-needles. Different manufacturers produce several products based on the extract of Siberian fir-needles. However, the products did not become mass-produced because of the instability of their physicochemical characteristics. Visterra created technological equipment that operates in an automatic mode. A method for unifying raw materials has been developed. The result is a product of stable quality with high biological activity.
Drying red deer blood. The technology of vacuum red deer blood concentration was developed in 1995 at the initiative of the organizer of Visterra Boev S. G. with direct involvement of the entrepreneur Shebalin A. I. (the Town of Biysk). Sublimation dryers were unacceptable for drying red deer blood. Drying is carried out in drum-type vacuum dryers.
Processing of antlers. Red deer antlers contain a huge amount of biologically active substances and biologically accessible trace elements, which have a polyvalent health-improving effect. However, nature accumulated content of antlers is not fully used. Antler skin (up to 30% of weight) after its thermal preservation is removed and tossed out together with the most valuable biologically active substances. Drying of antlers at a temperature of about 70 oC leads to a decrease in the biologically active substances inside it. Grinding preserved antlers to powder for the manufacture of finished forms leads to lipid oxidation and powder loss of antioxidant properties.
Visterra developed a completely different technology for complex processing of fresh antlers. After cutting off antlers, the skin is removed from it and first quite fully extracted, and then boiled to obtain collagen. From the antlers without skin, the liquid component is extracted and concentrated in a vacuum at a temperature below 40 °C to obtain the most valuable substance. The remaining cartilaginous skeleton is ground to powder for use as a source of microelements. There is no doubt that this is the technology of the future, instead of the traditional ununified technology of antlers heat drying.
Chaga extraction technology. Despite the wide use of the extract of the chaga fungus and the study of the composition of its extracts by many authors in many countries, the interpretation of the results of studies has many ambiguities, the technology of processing the fungus is not unified and still primitive. A systemic critical analysis of a set of basic known results for the justification and optimization of technology has not been carried out.
Visterra carried out detailed studies of chaga extraction under various conditions: at different temperatures, extraction time, different ratios of water-alcohol extract components, extraction by other extractants. The effect of the structure and level of grinding of the fungus on the extraction efficiency and other factors have been studied. As a result, the optimal conditions for extraction of the fungus with the maximum extraction of the natural complex of biological substances have been determined. Polyphenolcarbon complex (chromogenic complex), which determines the unique healing properties of chaga, reaches the maximum values (more than 65%) obtained in the Visterra plant. We note that for the first time in Russia we received the dry extract of chaga in 1998. However, at that time the market was not ready to accept this product.
Sterilization of solid extracts is carried out in a universal scraper sterilizer manufactured by the enterprise, in which extract flow into the sterilizer, the speed of rotation of the scrapers and the temperature of the steam are selected to choose the sterilization regime of a specific solid extract with specific extractive substances content and viscosity. This equipment allows our company not to resort to irradiating extracts on the betatron as other manufacturers do.
Granulation of extracts is carried out in a granulating machine designed and manufactured by the enterprise. Unlike the production of granules by extrusion and other methods, granulation by pelletizing in a disk granulator allows to obtain loose granules with a branched surface that dries quickly and is very water soluble. As a powderlike basis, glucose, fructose, sorbitol, vegetable and berries fibre powders can be used.