Essential ingredients in food, cosmetics and vaccines


Essential ingredients in food, cosmetics and vaccines

From food over cosmetics to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines 

Phospholipids are part of cell membranes and therefore present in all plant and animal cells.  Because of their chemical structure the phospholipids can act as emulsifiers enabling oils to form a colloid with water. Some typical applications of natural phospholipids are food products, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Common sources of industrially produced phospholipids are soya, rapeseed, sunflower, chicken eggs, bovine milk and fish eggs among others.

Today synthetic phospholipids are also used in more and more pharmaceuticals because important properties like drug targeting can be optimised. In general, this results in an increasing market demand for synthetic phospholipids.

Recently developed, very important pharmaceuticals are the mRNA vaccines, such as some of the COVID-19 vaccines. The pioneer company BIONTECH, which developed one of the first mRNA-vaccines against COVID-19, is well known for its important role in overcoming the pandemic in many countries around the world.

Among other substances synthetic phospholipids are essential with regard to the applicability of the mRNA vaccines. The lipids enclose the mRNA material and improve integration of the mRNA-strain into the human cells as well as the stability of the vaccine.

Since pharmaceuticals need very clean ingredients of constant quality, the purification of natural phospholipids as ingredients and as raw material for phospholipid synthesis is of highest importance. Typically, thin film evaporators are used for this task, because this equipment guarantees a short residence time and can be operated under vacuum so that the evaporation temperature can be reduced. Thin film evaporators can also handle liquids with higher viscosity and liquids which contain some solids. Therefore, thin film evaporators are the appropriate equipment in phospholipid purification.

Hyvap VD 836 (3)-1

Horizontal thin film evaporator for pharmaceutical industry

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