Cannabis Processing: Sonication vs. High Pressure Homogenization

Posted by Bryan Colwell on Aug 17, 2022 12:45:00 PM

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Manufacturing cannabis so that it can be used in consumable products is difficult. This is because the chemical compounds (i.e., “cannabinoids”) that are found in the cannabis plant and (generally) responsible for a product’s psychoactive and modulative effects are naturally fat-soluble; it is impossible to mix them with water and/or other ingredients without first finding a way to break them into extremely small pieces. Even then, no cannabinoid will ever be truly water-soluble. Instead, its particles will simply be small enough that they can be mixed into a stable emulsion or suspension and, thus, ready for use. Take a look at the difference between using sonication vs. high pressure homogenization to produce heterogenous mixtures during the production of cannabis oils, beverages, edibles, topical creams and capsules (to name just a few):

Using Sonication for Cannabis Processing

Sonication uses sound energy to disrupt the molecular bonds that hold cells together, causing cells to break into nano-sized particles. It works like this: a probe is inserted into a solution containing the sample. This probe vibrates at a super high speed so that bubbles form in the solution, grow and then burst; it’s a process that simultaneously sends shock waves into the solution, breaks apart the sample and ultimately disperses the resulting particles evenly throughout the solution. While sonication is effective for small batch samples of delicate materials, it is not especially suitable for processing large quantities of certain types of tissues. Many plant tissues, for example, are so tough that it would require a longer duration and higher intensity of force to break down the sample’s cell walls. This often produces heat that causes molecular damage to the sample itself, rendering any subsequent products biologically ineffective.

Why High Pressure Homogenization is a Better Solution for Cannabis Processing

High pressure homogenizers use pressure to break down a sample, forcing it through a series of orifices so that its cellular bonds are eventually broken. BEE International homogenizers, in particular, are able to be customized with a combination of additional forces (shear, cavitation and impact) to further maximize particle reduction, speed processing and lower the time and overall cost of production. In this way, high pressure homogenization (HPH) is a far superior option for cannabis processing. Not only can high pressure homogenizers be used for large batches and with multiple types of samples, they can be set up as part of an inline process, allowing the mixing and homogenization of large volumes of the sample to occur without interruption. Indeed, this continuous flow of operation ensures faster and more consistent results and is a lot more economical than sonication since no additional pieces of equipment or processing steps are needed to produce readily useable cannabinoid nanoparticles.

The BEE International Advantage

The proprietary emulsifying cell technology behind our high pressure homogenizing equipment produces stable nanoemulsions, enhancing the bioavailability of cannabis products by up to 75%; reducing the amount of active ingredient needed for optimal effect; speeding the rate of absorption into the body; extending shelf life; and ensuring consistency and clarity for better appearance and taste! To learn more about the value of using BEE International high pressure homogenizers for cannabis processing, please contact us at this link.

Feel free to also download our free eBook, “3 Reasons Why High Pressure Homogenization Improves Cannabis Products,” for additional information.

Graphene Processing: When Particle Size Reduction Isn’t Enough

Posted by Bryan Colwell on Aug 1, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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Graphene is a form of carbon. It was discovered in the early 2000s and has the potential to literally change the world. But only if it is processed correctly. Keep reading to learn why high pressure homogenizers are the key to improving graphene processing and, thus, crucial to the dawn of an exciting new world of manufacturing possibilities.

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a single, two-dimensional slice of graphite, a form of carbon. (You might remember that graphite is commonly used in pencil lead.) Scientists suspected graphene existed, but it wasn’t until 2004 that two researchers were actually able to isolate it and spur extensive study into its possible uses. And there are many uses because even though graphene is one million times thinner than a human hair, it is 200 times stronger than steel. It is also lightweight, transparent, flexible, highly conductive, and nearly impermeable, making it useful for many different types of applications. What’s especially unique about graphene is the fact that it is only one atom thick, extending in width and length but having no discernible height! Scientists are looking into using graphene in wearable and portable electronics; renewable energy sources; water filters; insulation; sporting goods; semiconductors; industrial lubricants and coatings; adhesives; biomedicine; and more!

How is Graphene Processed?

Using graphene for any application depends on isolating it from graphite. If you consider graphite a stack of towels, then each towel is a layer of graphene and the scientist must separate this stack to isolate a single layer of graphene. He or she must peel one towel off the stack in order to “make” graphene. However, unlike a stack of towels, which has a uniform width and length and a known number of individual components, graphite is irregularly shaped with an unknown number of layers to be revealed. In this case, our scientist must carefully separate each graphene layer from the graphite (or separate each towel from the stack) while keeping its total length intact, never knowing exactly when to stop. It’s not an easy task despite the fact that the first graphene processing tool to be used was simple scotch tape; scientists used tape to peel off layers of graphene from a chunk of graphite and then apply it to a substrate material. When the tape was removed from the substrate, an atom-thick layer of carbon was left behind— graphene! While this method works, separating and leaving behind separate layers of graphene over and over again, it’s neither cost-effective nor scalable for large volume production. Other options, including chemical exfoliation, are like-wise insufficient since they utilize complex processes that risk exposure of and/or contamination by toxic materials and/or take a lot of time and produce poor concentration and low yield. The best graphene processing equipment overcomes the electric forces that hold the layers of graphene together. It exfoliates and reduces the layer of graphene sheets and increases viscosity. A high pressure homogenizer is the best graphene processing tool.

Why BEEI High Pressure Homogenizers Improve Graphene Processing

High pressure homogenizers use pressure to reduce a substance to its smallest individual particles. You might believe that this alone makes them best-suited to shearing off graphene sheets from a larger graphite sample. Graphene processing, however, is a lot more than particle reduction. Reliable graphene processing also renders precise layer counts and enhances the stability of graphene-based nano-fluids, and only BEE International high pressure homogenizers have the patented emulsifying technology (EC) capable of delivering these things. Indeed, the proprietary combination of forces we use in our EC technology ensures not just the smallest particle reduction of any sample, but scalability and high yield, as well. Furthermore, the design of our flexible modular system is easy to use, clean, maintain and service, utilizing a multipass automation system and allowing custom processing for any type of application so that results are always scalable and the integrity of all graphene layers is always preserved. With our equipment, flake graphite can be easily transformed into useable graphene in less time and with less money, enabling you and/or your customers to start using this versatile material and usher in a brave new world of possibilities. Please contact our team at BEE International to learn more about using our high pressure homogenizers for graphene processing.

Why Cell Disruption is More Efficient Using Homogenization

Posted by David Shechter on May 27, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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Cell lysis (also called cell disruption) is a critical part of many laboratory and manufacturing processes. It is the method by which a cell wall or cell membrane is broken so that the cell’s intracellular contents are released. The objective of any cell disruption procedure is to get as much viable material (molecules and other particles of interest) from the cellular fluid so that it can be studied and/or used for other purposes. 

There are several tools that help facilitate cell disruption, including ultrasonication, mechanical grinding, freeze-thawing, osmotic shock and more; however, homogenization is the only cell disruption method that is efficient for the widest range of applications.

What is BEE International’s Homogenization Technology?

BEE International are experts in high pressure homogenization, which is used to break particles apart and to facilitate cell lysis. Specifically, it involves the use of fluid pressure to force a sample — in this case, any type of cell — through a narrow passage of different-sized orifices. As the cell traverses the system, it is acted upon by a variety of additional forces depending on the velocity of the fluid’s flow (which can be manipulated for any type of cellular material, whether it’s plant or animal, algae, bacteria, fungi, etc.). Thus, upon exit from the homogenizing system, each cell has experienced a customizable combination of forces (pressure, turbulence, shear, cavitation, impact and intensity) that has effectively broken it apart and released its intracellular contents in good form.

What Makes BEE Homogenization Technology So Efficient for Cell Disruption?

BEE technology works so well for cell disruption because:

It utilizes a customizable combination of forces that reduces the need for other equipment and steps.

BEE technology supplies constant pressure so that every cell that passes through the pumping system experiences the same combination of shear, cavitation and/or impact forces, which results in reliable, consistent results each and every time. Hard plant cell membranes that are difficult to rupture can be exposed to greater pressure and more force, while animal cells that are often fragile can be treated more gently. This allows manufacturers and scientists to use the same piece of equipment with a greater variety of cell samples.

It is an in-line process

In-line processing is not only more consistent but also saves time, thereby reducing manufacturing costs.

It delivers results that are easily repeatable and scalable regardless of volume.

Homogenization technology delivers reliable scale up from the lab to production due to several key features. In addition to having a customizable PLC panel that controls the level of pressure, temperature and other forces used during any one run, BEE homogenizers utilize extremely powerful motors that convert hydraulic power through high pressure cylinders and make it possible to process reliable results no matter the original sample size or volume.

It preserves valuable intracellular contents.

Oftentimes, chemicals or enzymes in the form of detergents and chaotropic agents are used for cell disruption (particularly when extracting proteins), but these chemicals can denature sensitive proteins and/or require removal before the proteins can be used. Homogenization, however, requires no chemical additives; it also generates little heat, which can similarly alter the integrity of intracellular contents. By eliminating the need for chemical detergents and reducing the potential of other harmful by-products (like heat and too much rigor), microfluidization ensures that cell lysis always results in a usable biological sample that most represents its natural form.

The BEE International Advantage

While BEE high pressure homogenizers provide a technology edge for cell lysis, we understand successful manufacturing requires ease of use, reliability and excellent customer service. In short, our homogenizers save our clients money and a lot of time! To learn more about how high pressure/microfluidizer technology works and the specific benefits it can offer you, please contact us.

3 Materials Where Particle Size is Essential for Effective Production

Posted by David Shechter on Mar 25, 2022 11:15:00 AM

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The ability to manufacture quality products depends on the quality of the materials. And quite often the best materials are the ones with a consistent size and distribution of their particles. That’s because the stable distribution of particles directly impacts the physical and chemical composition of the materials they compose, affecting the ability of those materials to function as needed when coming off a production line. Take a look at three materials where particle size is especially essential for effective production:

Food

Today, the majority of the food we eat is manufactured in some way. It has been altered from its natural state to satisfy safety and storage standards and to provide consumers with reliable products that are good to eat every time we purchase them. In many — probably most — of those instances, manufacturers have had to combine several ingredients in order to make these products. Items such as milk, salad dressings, juices, coffee, flour, chocolate, spices and more rely on equipment that reduces at least one of their ingredients to a very small size because breaking particles into smaller-sized pieces increases the surface area of each particle and provides more opportunity for chemical bonding to take place. More bonds mean better cohesion amongst all the ingredients and an extended shelf life for the final food product. Indeed, with all ingredients of a food item thoroughly mixed, it simply tastes better and lasts longer, and its flavor remains consistent with every bite! Small particles frequently improve the nutritional value of the food, as well, especially when nutrients need to pass through bodily membranes and/or preservatives need to be added to food to keep it safe for consumption. Small particles mean the preservatives are not visibly noticed or tasted and the food is still nutritious and safe to eat.

Take, as an example, milk. When smaller in size, the fat globules in milk stay more evenly dispersed; they don’t float to the top of the milk and settle into a layer of cream. They are also easier to digest when they are smaller, meaning the body is able to more quickly access the milk’s nutrients and put them to use to keep us healthy.

Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Particle size is similarly important in the manufacturing of drugs and pharmaceutical products including but not limited to injectables, tablets, sublingual dissolvables, dermal patches, and creams. By reducing the particle size of the chemical components or “API” within pharmaceutical formulations, it allows them to be easily absorbed by the body, enhancing bioavailability. As pharmaceutical products must meet reproducible standards for drug delivery in both efficacy and dosage accuracy, the importance of consistent particle size during production cannot be understated.

Cannabis Products

Traditionally, cannabis and hemp products go through an extraction process where chemical compound rich oil is isolated from plant matter. This oil is considered hydrophobic, which means it does not easily mix with other water-based products. However, by reducing the particle size of the oil droplets and creating a nanoemulsion, it becomes possible to suspend these submicron oil particles in water-based products for prolonged periods of time.

Similarly to pharmaceutical applications, cannabis and hemp products also become more bioavailable through particle size reduction. The human body cannot readily absorb cannabinoid molecules because they are too large to pass through mucus membranes and enter the blood stream. The body first must digest the cannabinoids and THEN absorb them which is why traditional edibles take so long to take effect.

Cannabinoids that have undergone particle size reduction have quicker onset time, are more consistent in active ingredient dosing, have longer shelf life, and are quickly becoming the gold standard method of consumption among users.

The BEE International Advantage

Particle size and distribution are important aspects to consider during the manufacturing of thousands of products. Food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and cannabis products are just a few groups where particle size becomes critical for ensuring stability, consistency, and effectiveness. One of the most efficient and scalable ways to guarantee a tight particle size distribution across the widest array of industries is through high pressure homogenization.

BEE International manufactures top of the line high pressure homogenizers that provide unparalleled process control and allow the user to manipulate all three forces involved in high pressure homogenization (Shear, impact, and cavitation) for extensive formulation discovery and efficiency optimization.

To learn more about our proprietary Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology, please contact us today.

How Better Particle Packing Improves Pharmaceutical Suspensions

Posted by David Shechter on Feb 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Pharmaceutical suspensions are dispersions of insoluble solid particles in a suspending (often liquid) medium. They represent a common form of drug delivery, with pharmaceutical suspensions safeguarding the accurate dosage of many insoluble drug ingredients. Of course, pharmaceutical suspensions taste and/or smell better and are more effective when the size of the solid particles are as small and as uniform as possible; small particles that are similar in size can be more evenly packed, making them more stable and a lot more reliable as chemical agents. Take a look at why controlled particle packing improves pharmaceutical suspensions and the type of equipment needed to render the best particle packing results:

Small, Uniform Particles Improve Pharmaceutical Suspensions

Think about mixing together sand and water, and then about mixing together pebbles and water. Which one is easier to do? It’s sand and water, right? The small size of each sand grain makes it easier to mix them all into the water. It also diminishes their weight, allowing them to stay “floating” in the water for a longer amount of time. In much the same way, pharmaceutical suspensions that have smaller particles in them remain stable (i.e., mixed and “useable”) for longer periods since they necessarily delay sedimentation (which would render the drug ineffective and, consequently, useless). Furthermore, smaller particles help to control the delivery of the drug’s active ingredient by evenly dispersing it throughout the suspending medium, ensuring that each dose contains equal parts of all ingredients. Finally, smaller particles work to keep pharmaceutical suspension costs down since the volume of active ingredient(s) of any one product remains constant and can be consistently measured and dispersed during each manufacturing run.

High Pressure Homogenizers Render the Best Particle Packing Results

There are many types of equipment specifically designed to break apart substances. The industry often determines the type used. When making pharmaceutical suspensions, for example, drug manufacturers frequently choose bead mills, rotor-stator homogenizers and/or ultrasonic homogenizers. The problem, however, is that all of these types of homogenizers only use one force each (such as shear, impact or cavitation). Indeed, each piece of equipment has limitations regarding the type of material it can process and the minimum size of particle it can guarantee. Our high pressure homogenizers offered here at BEE International, however, use a combination of agitation, shear, impact , cavitation and pressure to ensure the most versatile range of applications available on the market today.

The BEE International Advantage

The patented and propietary technology of BEEI high pressure homogenizers combines multiple forces to ensure the most controlled particle size reduction processes. Our equipment not only allows pharmaceutical suspension manufacturers to accurately and consistently render the smallest and most uniform particles, but we also deliver the least variance in particle size distribution in the fewest passes. Typically, users realize at least 10% improvement over other conventional HPH in this capacity.  BEEI empowers users to create the most efficient, thus, more affordable, process for their products.

Please contact us to learn how high pressure homogenizers from BEE International improve particle packing so that the pharmaceutical suspensions made with them are longer lasting, safer and more effective than those made with other types of equipment.

What Is Cavitation and How Does it Compare to Shear Mixing Forces?

Posted by David Shechter on Jan 27, 2022 9:45:00 AM

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Have you ever wondered: “What is cavitation?” If you’ve had a chemistry or biology class you may have encountered the term and learned a little about its meaning in various situations. 

Cavitation is basically the formation and collapse of “bubbles” (i.e., cavities) within a liquid substance that occur due to pressure changes. It can be a harmful process (like when vibrations work to erode mechanical parts), but in many instances, cavitation is a beneficial and often necessary part of certain types of industrial, medical and research processes. Thus, answering the question, “what is cavitation,” helps shed light on the role physics plays in our everyday lives. Here’s what you need to know:

The Simple Answer to “What is Cavitation?”

Cavitation is a type of force. 

As a type of force, cavitation changes energy, the very essence of life. It occurs when a liquid’s vapor pressure rises above its static pressure, causing pockets of vapor to form within the liquid. As the pressure again rises within the liquid, these “vapor bubbles” implode sending out shock waves that are able to break the bonds of surrounding particles. The resulting turbulence from these collisions and the destruction they cause then creates subsequent impact forces, which, in turn, cause even more bonds to disrupt. The result, a substance that has been broken up into tiny (often nano-sized) pieces.

There are Many Types of Forces That Can Be Used in a Variety of Ways

There are many types of forces. All forces occur naturally, but oftentimes humans use one or more types of force to create something or break it down. Doctors, scientists and manufacturers, for example, intentionally induce cavitation via the use of homogenizers in order to cleanse, study, test and produce a variety of substances. Sometimes they use cavitation machines to facilitate multiple types of medical treatments, as well. Together these products and processes include — but aren’t limited to — medications, paint, plastic materials, water purification devices and many different cosmetic, weight-loss and other medical procedures!

How Does Cavitation Compare to Shear Mixing Forces?

Cavitation is often a preferred source of energy force when making or using certain types of products because it’s extremely powerful and able to impact a large number of particles at one time, meaning more products can be made and more cells can be affected (when used with/for biological samples). Other types of forces, like shear mixing forces, can’t render the same effects. 

Shear mixing forces are forces that work in different directions to break apart and mix the particles of a substance. They’re a bit like a knife that chops away at an onion, dicing it at different angles. Because shear mixing forces move haphazardly, they aren’t as powerful as cavitation’s cyclic stress. Produced as the bubbles of cavitation rise, burst and shrink over and over again, cyclic stress is a controlled process, leaving a type of uniform destruction in its wake. Shear mixing forces, on the other hand, which utilize no established or reliable exertion of force, can’t be depended upon to break apart particles with any guaranteed conformity or regularity when employed singularly.

The BEE International Advantage

Cavitation is a useful and necessary process in many industries. It effectively disrupts cellular bonds and creates the smallest-sized particles, ensuring manufacturers and healthcare professionals alike have access to substances that can be better — i.e., more easily — mixed and, thus, making it possible for them to develop products that actually work

Here at BEE International, however, we don’t just recognize the power of cavitation, we aim to maximize it! We’ve designed a patented emulsifying (EC) technology that combines cavitation forces with shear and impact forces to ensure that industries have access to the smallest-sized particles possible so that even better products can be made. Our proprietary blend of multiple forces offers results that surpass the limited effects of shear, impact and even cavitation alone. Furthermore, our equipment is completely customizable, allowing users to intensify processes according to the task at hand. The result: the best high pressure homogenizers on the market today. Please contact us to learn more.

3 Industries Where Ultrasonic Emulsification is Changing the Game

Posted by David Shechter on Dec 28, 2021 10:45:00 AM

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Many industries depend on ultrasonic emulsification to get their products out the door and in front of customers. Put plainly, ultrasonic emulsification is basically vigorous mixing, and many industries use it because it is the only way to facilitate the combining of certain types of substances: those that are naturally immiscible, like oil and water, for example. Keep reading for a quick overview of ultrasonic emulsification, the industries that rely on it and info on an alternative piece of equipment that can vastly improve the process:

What is Ultrasonic Emulsification?

As mentioned, ultrasonic emulsification is a powerful way of mixing two liquids so that one is completely dispersed throughout the other and neither will revert back to its original properties over time. Of course, there are other ways of facilitating emulsification, but ultrasonic emulsification relies on ultrasound energy (high frequency vibrations that cause cavitation) to forcibly combine the two substances. Think about many popular food items, like salad dressing; you know that oftentimes you need to shake the bottle before pouring in order to evenly blend the dressing’s ingredients and not end up with a bowl full of oil (or vinegar) only! Ultrasonic emulsification is just a high-tech method of performing the same process. Since oil and water do not mix, (no matter how much shaking or cavitation is applied) an emulsifier or surfactant, an additional ingredient that mixes well with both water and oil, is added so that two substances mixed with the right mixing technology can stay mixed in a homogeneous state.

Industries that Depend on Ultrasonic Emulsification

In addition to the food industry, there are many other industries that create common and highly useful products via ultrasonic emulsification.

  • The Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, it is often necessary to create oil-in-water emulsions in order to make medicines more palatable and to increase their efficacy by evenly dispersing their active ingredients. Without ultrasonic emulsification, for instance, many drug products would remain in an unmixed state, too bitter to ingest and/or unable to work effectively since they would inevitably deliver inconsistent dosages of the ingredients needed every time they were taken. It's just like that bottle of dressing that was not shaken before being poured and therefore spurted out alternating globs of oil and vinegar but never an actual vinaigrette.

  • The Beauty Industry

Similarly, most cosmetics, perfumes, and skin and hair care products need to undergo some type of emulsification process to ensure that they look appealing and can be applied evenly across the skin. Ultrasonic emulsification, in particular, simultaneously mixes and breaks apart substances into incredibly small particles (more so than mere mixers or blenders), enabling manufacturers to better guarantee that their products will possess a smoother consistency and be more easily absorbed into the skin. Furthermore, substances with smaller particle sizes are more stable, meaning they last longer than products that haven’t been properly mixed or have been mixed using only mechanical means.

  • The Cannabis Industry

Perhaps, however, the cannabis industry is currently reaping the best results as a result of their emulsification processes. In this rapidly growing market, the best-tasting and most potent cannabis products are the ones in demand. Ultrasonic emulsification allows manufacturers to guarantee a consistent product each and every time it leaves a production line since it reduces the size of cannabinoid molecules, making it easier for them to be absorbed by the body and also delivering a more uniform amount of active ingredient with every swig, bite, puff, swallow, chew, rub, spray or any other type of ingestion/application!

The BEE International Advantage

There’s no doubt that emulsification has changed the game for countless industries, allowing them to create products that last longer, taste better and/or provide better and more consistent effects than those that haven’t undergone the same type of robust processing. 

There is an even better alternative, though: high pressure homogenizers (HPH). Our HPHs here at BEE International, for example, utilize a patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology that surpasses the limited cavitation capacity of ultrasonic equipment and also employs other mixing forces of turbulence such as shear and impact. Control levels of each of these forces is in the hands of the user with BEE HPHs which means you can control the most efficient process for your product and the very best efficiency yield. Products emulsified with our homogenizers possess the tightest distribution of the smallest possible particle sizes and provide even higher quality products than ultrasonic mixers, sonicators, or other types of sonic mixers. Unlike sonication, BEE's proprietary homogenizing processes can scale up with ease as all our technology is built on the same platform (from R&D or Lab to pilot to manufacturing). Ultimately, this means companies spend less time and less money during their process manufacturing!

There’s a reason we’re called BEE; we offer the “Best Emulsifying Equipment” on the market. To learn more about our products and the technologies that make our HPHs the best option for your own emulsifying needs, please contact us today.

The Role of Nanoemulsification Equipment in Cannabis Beverage Processing

Posted by David Shechter on Nov 29, 2021 9:45:00 AM

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Nanoemulsification is the process by which a nanoemulsion is created. And a nanoemulsion is the combination of two immiscible liquids (such as water and oil) with particles less than 500 nm in diameter. Nanoemulsification equipment, then, is any tool that can be used to effectively create nanoemulsions. There aren’t very many of them, and some work better than others. For specialty jobs in a highly aggressive market, like cannabis-infused beverages, the nanoemulsification equipment that yields the absolute smallest-sized particles enables cannabinoid product manufacturers to gain valuable market share, offering cannabinoid drinks that deliver a faster, more potent effect than those of their competitors. Take a look at the reasons nanoemulsification equipment is needed — and why high pressure homogenizers are the best option — for cannabis beverage processing:

Nanoemulsification Equipment is the Only Way to Ensure Maximum Bioavailability and Efficiency in Cannabis Beverages

THC and CBD are two types of chemical compounds commonly found in cannabis products. Respectively, they are known for their euphoric or sedative effects, but only when absorbed by the body in some way. However, as fat-soluble molecules, neither THC nor CBD is easily nor quickly digestible if simply ingested in their natural state. Instead, the body has to move the cannabinoids through the digestion system, using bile and various enzymes along the way to break them into tiny particles that can then be more readily absorbed. In this way, the body itself basically has to create a nanoemulsion in order to allow the oil-based molecules in cannabinoids to be absorbed into the body.  It works…but it’s slow, delaying the body’s reaction to the various cannabinoid compounds, as well as never consistently guaranteeing the same type of effects. 

Using nanoemulsification during processing (i.e., before ingestion) solves the problem. By breaking down the cannabinoid oils with nanoemulsion equipment before they are imbibed, cannabis product manufacturers are able to mix teeny, tiny cannabinoid particles into a stable liquid phase (meaning they don’t settle to the bottom of the bottle). Fully and evenly dispersing the cannabinoids into a beverage ensures that the body immediately absorbs it, providing a more consistent product that always looks and works the same.

The BEE International Advantage

Our high pressure homogenizers here at BEE International are the only type of nanoemulsification equipment that can consistently create the tightest distribution of smallest-sized particles. Unlike other nanoemulsification equipment (such as sonicators and microfluidizers) that only utilize one type of mechanical force, BEE International high pressure homogenizers make use of a proprietary and patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology which combines multiple types of forces (shear, cavitation and impact) to more effectively break apart and mix the particles in a substance. Furthermore, our HPHs can be customized according to the job at hand. When making cannabis-infused beverages, for instance, manufacturers can adjust the combination of forces, as well as the intensity and duration of their application, so that cannabinoids are rendered to their smallest possible size in less passes. Please contact us to learn more.

You might also like to download our free eBook, “3 Reasons Why High Pressure Homogenization Improves Cannabis Products,” here.

The Ultimate Guide to Particle Size Reduction Equipment

Posted by David Shechter on Oct 28, 2021 10:15:00 AM

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There are hundreds — probably thousands or even millions— of reasons to break apart something that’s big into smaller pieces. From facilitating easier transport of active ingredients to encouraging in-depth exploration (and many other reasons in between), reducing a substance into smaller components often leads to more useful — if not just more plentiful — parts. Across multiple industries, for instance, particle size reduction processes enable manufacturers to create products that look and work better than those made without them. The key, however, is picking the right type of particle size reduction equipment; there are many ways to reduce the size of particles in a substance and, as a result, there are many types of particle size reduction equipment. It’s not always easy to know which type of particle size reduction equipment to use. Here’s what you need to know:

There are Many Ways to Reduce Particle Size

There are many ways to reduce the size of a substance’s particles; you can use molecular forces and/or mechanical forces. Unfortunately, molecular forces can alter the chemical composition of a sample, thus affecting the resulting end product’s functionality. Mechanical forces, however, only alter a sample’s physical structure and, therefore, are more often utilized in particle size reduction equipment. Indeed, at a most basic level, particle size reduction equipment depends on at least one of the following mechanical forces:

  • Shear — which is similar to cutting with a pair of scissors
  • Impact — which is similar to a collision between two objects
  • Cavitation — which is similar to the popping of a bubble


(In addition, high pressure can be used to force apart a substance, as well; we’ll get to that in a minute!)

The Type of Force Used Affects Particle Size Reduction

Specific types of particle size reduction equipment utilize different forces, with each offering their own unique advantages and disadvantages. For example:

  • Paddle Blenders utilize impact and shear forces to break apart large samples and are particularly conducive to separating living cells from tissue samples but not applicable when extremely small particles are needed.
  • Bead Mills utilize impact and shear forces by adding small beads to a sample and agitating them so that they collide with one another (and also the sample), breaking the sample into smaller pieces. Because small traces of the beads might end up in a sample, these type of particle size reduction equipment is not appropriate in certain situations. 
  • Rotor Stator Homogenizers utilize shear force to create small (although not nanoscale) particle sizes, but often create a small amount of heat that can degrade a sample.
  • Ultrasonic Homogenizers utilize cavitation and impact to create nano particle sizes, but can create a large amount of heat affecting many types of samples.

Only High Pressure Homogenizers Offer The Widest Range of Manufacturing and Scientific Possibilities

While other particle size reduction equipment makes use of only one or possibly two forces, our BEE International high pressure homogenizers utilize shear, impact, cavitation and high pressure to break apart and reduce the size of a sample’s particles. BEE stands for Best Emulsifying Equipment. Furthermore, our patented emulsifying cell (EC) technology permits the complete customization of forces (including their duration and intensity) used during any one manufacturing or laboratory process, which allows manufacturers and scientists alike the ability to achieve specific results as needed, such as nano emulsions; cell lysis; uniform particle reduction; maximum bioavailability; improved and consistent sensorial and biophysical properties and more!

 

To learn more about what makes BEE International high pressure homogenizers the particle size reduction equipment of choice, please contact BEE International.

How to Guarantee Water Soluble Cannabinoids for Beverages

Posted by David Shechter on Sep 29, 2021 1:05:00 PM

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Cannabinoids, chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, are naturally fat soluble, meaning they are dissolvable only in nonpolar solvents and, thus, not capable of mixing with water. It’s a major problem that often makes the manufacture of cannabis-based beverages difficult since cannabinoids can’t be broken down and mixed with other ingredients naturally for any sustained amount of time. Cannabis-based beverage products, for instance, work faster, taste better and last longer only when they are able to be mixed properly with — read: dissolved completely within — other ingredients. Leaving cannabinoids in their original oily state, then, makes it impossible to guarantee the bioavailability, stability or longevity of cannabis beverages. Luckily, manufacturers have options. Here’s how you can create water soluble cannabinoids for beverages and, therefore, always ensure that your cannabis drinks are of the highest quality:

What are Water Soluble Cannabinoids for Beverages?

Technically, there are no “true” water soluble cannabinoids. What we actually mean when we use the term “water soluble cannabinoids for beverages” is really just “cannabinoids that have been reduced to the smallest-sized particles so that they can be thoroughly mixed with a liquid substance.” With this in mind, the trick becomes finding a way to break down cannabinoids into such small pieces that they can be used to manufacture cannabis beverages with maximized flavor and potency.

Using Emulsions to Create Water Soluble Cannabinoids for Beverages

As mentioned, if cannabinoids are left in their natural state, cannabis-infused drinks would need to be shaken and then immediately consumed. It’s not unlike an oil-based salad dressing that has to be shaken before used. This is never ideal, however, since shaking a product can actually degrade it: carbonated drinks lose their bubbles, for example, or ingredients get unevenly distributed, making the drink taste funny, look cloudy and/or rendering it unable to provide a consistent dose of active ingredient(s). Furthermore, because the cannabinoids are still basically fat molecules which have been only temporarily suspended in a liquid, the body must still process them through the digestive system, a much longer process compared to that of water soluble cannabinoids dissolving directly into mouth, stomach and intestinal tissues. 

To solve the problem, manufacturers need to create water soluble cannabinoids via emulsification. Emulsification is the process by which normally immiscible substances are mixed together so that separation can’t occur. There are several different types of equipment that can facilitate emulsification, but the most effective and efficient one is a BEE International high pressure homogenizer. BEE stands for Best Emulsifying Equipment.  Our high pressure homogenizers create stable emulsions that guarantee water soluble cannabinoids for beverages each and every processing run.

The BEE International Advantage

Most emulsifying processing equipment utilizes only one or two forces to physically break apart and mix samples. BEE International high pressure homogenizers, however, utilize a combination of forces, including turbulence, shear, cavitation, impact and high pressure, that more forcibly reduces a sample’s particle size, creating larger surface areas to which bonding can occur. The result: shelf stable mixtures with increased potency and bioavailability. In addition, our patented mixing technology eliminates the need for pre-mixing and includes customizable options for the combination of forces, as well as the intensity and duration of operation, allowing manufacturers to manage the production of water soluble cannabinoids for beverages in the fewest amount of passes, saving them time and money.

To learn more about using BEE International homogenizers to create water soluble cannabinoids for beverages, please contact our team today.

You might also wish to download our free eBook, “3 Reasons Why High Pressure Homogenization Improves Cannabis Products” for additional information.