natural sources


downstream processing

Downstream processing refers to the process of separation, distillation and processing of pharmaceutical products from natural sources.

Many pharmaceutical products are derived from medicinal plants that live in very biodiverse places of the world, such as equatorial jungles. These extracted products can be combined with chemical synthesis materials for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for consumers.


The first step of the downstream processing uses various methods such as centrifugation, physical agitation, filtration mesh and flocculation in suspension to remove materials that are not soluble in the refined product. This also helps to eliminate impurities and particles.


The insulation is an additional refinement of the desired product. The substance that in most cases must be isolated from the product, is water and can be done in several ways, by adsorption on a surface for extraction and precipitation. This can be a slow process compared to filtration.


The product resulting from a filtering and insulating process may contain more impurities, which closely resemble the target product but are chemically distinct from this product. Processes such as chromatography and crystallization, which naturally secrete chemically distinct elements, help in the purification.


The final process is to create a uniform final product, portions easily transportable. This can be achieved by drying the final product through numerous drying methods.

natural biological products
natural medical drugs


The accelerated emergence of new and better industrial applications of enzymes, currently observed, is a consequence of a better perception of the advantages represented by the use of enzymatic technology: the natural origin of the enzymes that are used, their extraordinary properties of specificity. Substrate and catalytic efficiency and the possibility of implementing material transformation processes with high reaction speeds under moderate operating conditions. The growing demand for new forms of processing, more economical and benign for the environment and with high standards of biosecurity, constitute very attractive conditions for the development of new enzymes and enzymatic transformation methods, particularly in industrial processes where until recently it included the use of enzymatic technology.


On the other hand, in recent years, faced with the requirement of more efficient applications and more specific transformations, which demand users that use enzymes to process large volumes of materials and obtain products of high economic value, the large manufacturers of enzymes have evolved towards commercialization / business strategy that is based on the development of preparations ex professors, through advanced technologies that integrate upstream and downstream processes, bioseparation and purification to obtain enzymes optimized for a specific application and specific operating conditions (characteristics of the substrate, precursors, possible presence of denaturing agents or inhibitors of enzymatic action, effect of reaction products, operational stability).

In practically all enzyme production systems, the recovery of enzymatic matter is done through strategies that are more widely known as downstream processing (literally, “downstream”), with the meaning of carrying mixtures, in which the The component of interest is in a high dilution and accompanied by several substances or impurities, to concentrated preparations in the compound of interest. In this process a wide variety of techniques and types of unit operations are available.

The downstream processing, considered as a specialized field of biochemical engineering, is the most widely used term to refer to the recovery and purification of biosynthetic products, most commonly used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products from natural sources of animal origin or vegetable, or fermentation broths.

It is important to distinguish that downstream processing and analytical bioseparation both refer to the separation and purification of biological products but at different scales of production and for different processes. Downstream processing involves the manufacture of a purified product, suitable for a specific use, generally in large quantities that allow its commercialization, while analytical bioseparation refers to the purification with the sole purpose of measuring a component or components in a mixture.

The development of a system of production from vegetable sources begins with a study of prospection between several species of a genus. Subsequently, based on the analysis of enzymatic activities, we proceed to the isolation and characterization phases of the selected enzymes. The fluid extracted from some organ of the plant is subjected to a downstream processing for recovery of the enzymatic matter.


Leave a Reply