Natural Products Extraction of the Future—Sustainable Manufacturing Solutions for Societal Needs
The production of plant-based extracts is significantly influenced by traditional techniques and the natural variability of feedstock. For that reason, the discussion of innovative approaches to improve the manufacturing of established products and the development of new products within the regulatory framework is essential to adapt to shifting quality standards. This perspective of members of the DECHEMA/ProcessNet working group on plant-based extracts outlines extraction business models and the regulatory framework regarding the extraction of traditional herbal medicines as complex extracts. Consequently, modern approaches to innovative process design methods like QbD (Quality by Design) and quality control in the form of PAT (Process Analytical Technology) are necessary. Further, the benefit of standardized laboratory equipment combined with physico-chemical predictive process modelling and innovative modular, flexible batch or continuous manufacturing technologies which are fully automated by advanced process control methods are described. A significant reduction of the cost of goods, i.e., by a factor of 4–10, and decreased investments of about 1–5 mil. € show the potential for new products which are in line with market requirements.