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Manufacturing expertise and patented process

About 20 years ago, and in close collaboration with a team of pharmacists, engineers and industrial chemists, PiLeJe developed an innovative extraction process which preserves the innate identity and characteristics of all the ingredients which give the original fresh plant its physiological effects. 

The highest possible quality

The quality of a plant extract is dependent on the right choice of original fresh plant (refer to Controlled and managed selection of the fresh plant) and on an effective extraction process. This process comprises a number of stages, each of which must be developed and performed correctly to extract all the original ingredients on which the plant’s action relies, without degrading any of them.

The quality of the extract obtained is thus determined by that of the extraction process.

PiLeJe manufactures its plant extracts in France

The extraction process, the subsequent packaging of the extracts obtained and their distribution are all performed in France on production sites which have been certified for compliance with “Good Manufacturing Practice” and “Good Distribution Practice” regulations.
The fresh plant is extracted in the Ariège region (southwestern France) and the phytotherapy health products are manufactured in the Auvergne region (central France). The product distribution centre is in the Pays de la Loire (western France).

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Key stages in the PiLeJe extraction process

Freezing within 24 hours 

The plant is frozen within 24 hours of being harvested. This is an imperative requirement, since freezing halts the degradation process and thus preserves the properties of the plant. 

The frozen plant can then be transported to the PiLeJe extraction site in southwestern France. On reception, various quality checks are performed on every batch.

Cold grinding

While still frozen, the plant is ground into small pieces. This increases the surface area across which the solvents used to perform the extraction can act and thus facilitates and potentiates this extraction of the various compounds. 

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The patented extraction stage 

PiLeJe’s patented extraction process is a percolation performed using a series of hydroalcoholic solutions, with each new solution having a higher alcoholic strength than the previous one, designed to extract the various ingredients from the plant in turn as a function of their affinity to water or to alcohol. 

In practice, the first solution is pure water followed by the various hydroalcoholic solutions. This technique is effective in that it caters for the fact that every compound has a different solubility in water or alcohol. This gradual process takes time, but recovers the maximum possible amount of compounds from the plant. 

Evaporation of the alcohol in a vacuum

The mixture obtained, plant + water + alcohol, is recovered. The alcohol is evaporated off in a vacuum at low temperature. This method avoids having to heat the solution, which could destroy all or some of the plant’s compounds. 

The alcohol-free, fresh-plant extracts obtained form the basis for PiLeJe’s phytotherapy formulations. Two products can then be added: 

  • plant glycerine, to convert the extracts into a form which can be prescribed by doctors
  • acacia fibre, used if the product is to be manufactured in the form of a tablet and capsule. 
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Standardised composition and concentration 

Since all the fresh plant extraction operations are recorded in detail, perfected controlled and reproducible, each dosage unit for a PiLeJe phytotherapy product has a precisely defined and constant composition and concentration of ingredients. 

Quality controls

Before and during the marketing of the products, various quality controls (microbiological analyses, content of actives, absence of contaminants, etc.) are carried out. These checks, performed in accordance with current Good Practice standards (standard ISO 22000) ensure that the product is traceable, safe and stable over time.

Visuel 1 contrôle qualité
Visuel 2 contrôle qualité