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The X-1 Hydraulic Commercial Cold-Press Juice Press

The Goodnature X-1 Commercial Cold-Press

Using the X-1 for Medicinal Extraction

When Nature's Apothecary needed to boost production, it came to the experts in liquid extraction. The Boulder, Colorado processor of dietary supplements makes liquid, medicinal extracts from over 300 varieties of fresh plants. "With most of the machinery that we use, we have had trouble finding anything that is readily available on the market because it's an unusual thing that we process," says Tammi Hartung, Staff Herbalist, in charge of formulation and education. "The Goodnature X-1 Press has turned out to be an exception to that rule." Existing production methods had limited the company's capability to keep up with orders and were standing in the way of growth. "We had been using a custom built hydraulic press that could do only two gallons of extract at a time. So it was a lot slower for us. We had to fold the menstruum within a press cloth and then place it within a basket for pressing. Then the cloths were refolded for a second pressing. The press was also very noisy. You could hear it everywhere in the plant".

Goodnature was recommended by another herbal company. An X-1 Single Layer Press was selected because it provided more than enough pressing capacity at an economical cost.

"Overall, it's just much more efficient for us. In fact it's so much more pleasant to use that everybody here is very grateful. First of all, you can do a larger amount at one time. We're going through in one day what used to take a week, at this point."

Instead of folding press cloths, the X-1's filter bag, which is suspended within the press frame, is top loaded. Goodnature was able to supply filter bags in various weaves to accommodate the different materials that had to be processed. "The bags are much better than the process that we had to go through before. So that has cut down on the work that's involved there." Tammi notes. " The machine is also quiet. Now you don't hear it at all. It's used in a number of ways and seems to be working for everything that we do."

Herbs are ground in an alcohol/water medium, allowed to sit for a period of time, then pressed, decanted, and stored in bulk extract inventory. Finally they are packaged in one ounce and four ounce bottles for sale. Goodnature's X-1 press is currently used to press over 300 different herbs and organics including Alfalfa, American Ginseng, Dandelion, Feverfew, Chamomile, Golden Seal, and Milk Thistle Seed, to name just a few. The company also presses some fruit extracts, olive oil based products, a garlic/horseradish/vinegar formula, and some glycerites. 80% of the plant materials are organically produced. The rest are wildcrafted.

"We contract with small growers who strictly adhere to organic growing methods. Anytime you are using something for food, medicine, or personal care, you don't want to be subjecting yourself to chemicals," Tammi says. "We supply fresh plant extracts which we believe are optimum for good health. We also believe that we should do that in a fashion that is beneficial and safe for the human body as well as for the earth. That means that organics and fresh plants, processed within hours of harvest are absolutely critical. That also means not lowering our standards to using dried or conventionally grown plants. And we avoid using wildcrafted plants as much as possible because that can be a serious burden on the environment."

The company refuses to use rice hulls, or other pressing aids, yet still achieves high yields and a first quality product. She states: "Because the X-1 produces a juice that is lower in solids, we have to do less decanting to produce a clear product. The machine is substantially easier to operate. One person can handle the entire operation. In terms of labor, it definitely has been beneficial - just because of the time issue. So that saves us substantially on labor costs. The machine is used every day. It has worked very well for us and we have not had any problems. I can't think of anything we have had to do in a special fashion in order to accommodate the press."

Proper cleaning and sanitation are important. "We have probably 500 pounds of plant material going through it on a weekly basis depending on the season, week, harvest and so on," Tammi observes. "The X-1 is not as large and complex to clean as our old press. It's much easier. The various parts that can be taken off - the racks, tray, and so forth are thoroughly cleaned after each use. Even so, it's very quick. It all comes apart and fits in the sink - except for the press frame, which is cleaned using a wipe-down procedure." Typically a citrus cleaner is used. "The bags are just rinsed in between each individual plant pressing so that they never accumulate any collection of material. Then they are hung and dried between each use and once a week they are washed on a gentle cycle in a washing machine."

Nature's Apothecary has been in business for about five years and employs 16 people in a 4,000 square foot facility. "We have an extensive specimen garden planted here that is used as an outside classroom. This space is maintained by all the employees. We also give presentations and workshops there and it is part of the tour when people come to visit us. They can actually see many of the plants that we process in a living form," Tammi says.

The company's products are distributed nationally and internationally - mostly to natural food stores, practitioners, and other outlets. Most product is sold under the firm's own brand name. However, some private labeling is also done. "We're growing bigger and bigger every day and that's the plan of action. And we're intent upon doing that without compromising our standards," Tammi adds. Improved productivity.

"The bags are much better than the process that we had to go through before. So that has cut down on the work that's involved there."

Versatility

"Goodnature's X-1 press is currently used to press over 300 different herbs and organics including Alfalfa, American Ginseng, Dandelion, Feverfew, Chamomile, Golden Seal, and Milk Thistle Seed, to name a few. The company also presses some fruit extracts, olive oil based products, a garlic/horseradish/vinegar formula, and some glycerites." Secondary filtration not needed.

"Because the X-1 produces a juice that is lower in solids, we have to do less decanting to produce a clear product."

Simple Operation

"The machine is substantially easier to operate. One person can handle the entire operation. In terms of labor, it definitely has been beneficial - just because of the time issue. So that saves us substantially on our labor costs."

Ease of Sanitation

"The X-1 is not as large and complex to clean as our old press. It's much easier. The various parts that can be taken off - the racks, tray, and so forth are thoroughly cleaned after each use. Even so its very quick. It all comes apart and fits in the sink - except for the press frame, which is cleaned using a wipe-down procedure."

Goodnature's X-1 Single Layer Press utilizes an electric hydraulic pressing system to provide outputs of up to 20 gallons per hour with solids contents as low as .5 percent. The system requires only 110 volt, single phase power for operation.