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A percolator is a device used to extract raw vegetable materials by the method of continuous, slow flow of a solvent through the raw material layer. This method is called percolation (from the Latin percolo, flow) or, less often, displacement. Due to this, extracts that are much richer in active substances than obtained by simple maceration (soaking) are produced.

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A percolator is a device used to extract raw vegetable materials by the method of continuous, slow flow of a solvent through the raw material layer. This method is called percolation (from the Latin percolo, flow) or, less often, displacement. Due to this, extracts that are much richer in active substances than obtained by simple maceration (soaking) are produced. The proper reason for good extraction was discovered in 1833 by the pharmacists from Paris: Polydor Boullay and Pierre Jean Robiquet. They proved that the continuous and slow flow of a solvent through a raw material column contributes to improving the extraction efficiency. They also constructed the first percolator. The conical shape of the percolator was taken from the sugar industry, where conical vessels were used for many years during sugar production. The percolators used in the pharmacy recipe were made of glass, ceramics, copper sheet, or acid-proof steel. The first official description of this method was published in the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia in 1839.

Elaborated by the Museum of Pharmacy at the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków, © all rights reserved


 

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