Dr. Unchalee SANGUANPONG, Assoc. Prof.
Association of Thai Innovation and Invention Promotion
As raw material Thai neem seeds (Azadirachta indica var. siamensis (Valeton)) are used in small-scale industrial production at pilot plant of Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi in Patumtani province, Thailand. The process involves a long chain of operations and various equipment. The steps are seed decorticating, crushing, oil expel, agitation, sedimentation and evaporation. By moving-bed contacting extraction technique, defatted neem cake will be extracted with methanol in an agitatedextraction vessel. After decantation of crude cake in mixingsettling tank, the neem solution is drained out, then filtered and proceeded to the next procedure. The solution will be further evaporated until a specific volume, the so-calledconcentrated alcoholic neem-based extract. The described processing requires a set of special equipment, such as seed decorticator, pulverizer, oil expeller, agitated-extraction vessel, and evaporator. Before packing in containers, the content of azadiracthin is monitored per batch by using HPLC and adjusted in the formulation to a standard value. Furthermore the concentrate is also formulated for specific purpose as different “Ready-To-Use” products (RITNEEM , RITNEEM-O 1, RITNEEM-O II ). Eventually, the product will be bottled and shipped to the consumer. The capacity of pilot plant is 25 ton/year within 250 working days.