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Sonoporation is the use of ultrasound to produce cavitation, where bubbles can explosively collapse and generate localised pressure causing plant tissue to rupture, thus resulting in better release of bioactive substances within the cells into water/solvent. Pores are also formed within the damaged plant tissues, thus increasing the surface area per unit volume for more effective enzymatic hydrolysis of membranes/walls. This secondary effect also better releases bioactive substances within the cells.

Herbal extraction using ultrasound

In this test with the professional contribution from Monash University Malaysia (Pooria Pasbakhsh and Iee Lee Hia), pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) is being tested at ultrasound of 20 kHz and 37 kHz at 10 minutes and 20 minutes ultrasonic treatment time. The figure above clearly shows plant tissue damaged and sonoporation, especially at 37 kHz. This test result indicates that the incorporation of ultrasonic technology into Agridon’s process design and optimisation is a desirable value addition for engineering. This is especially true for high value herbal extraction (water and solvent), for example, Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia), Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila), and lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), where a few percentage points of improved bioactive extraction efficiency can result in monetary earnings of a few order of magnitude higher.