Molecular targets


Targeting specific molecules

Ligar makes molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) filter media which selective bind to specific molecules. This could be molecules that are valuable, such as medicinal compounds, flavours, metals and aromas. Or it could be problematic molecules such as toxins, pesticides, flavour taints or pollutants. Or simply molecules you might not want to have in a product, such as this caffeine molecule.

The potential targets are endless¬†but¬†MIPs can’t be used for them all. ¬†This page provides a guide for the types of liquids that can be processed and the molecules that¬†can and (currently) cannot be extracted.

Using MIPs to target specific high value molecules from plants and waste streams can significantly reduce both capital costs and the time it takes to produce a high concentration extract.
Using other techniques, flavour taints¬†can be hard to remove as the molecules are present at low levels and are often very similar to positive flavours. ¬†Ligar’s MIPs are food safe and can be designed to remove only the taint molecules.

Pollutants such as heavy metals and organic toxins can be removed from water using MIPs.  As the polutants can be removed from the MIPs (with the MIPs being reused), they can be disposed of properly or even recycled.

Examples of MIPs in market or in development

Imprinted polymer filters have been developed to extract a valuable molecule from a waste stream containing less than 0.01% of the target.

Extracting specific medicinal compounds from plants typically requires many lengthly processing steps.  Using MIPs simplifies the process. 

Yeast taints are a common problem for winemakers and they are difficult to remove.  Ligar has MIPs which simply filter out common taints.

Around 20% of the chromium used in the tanning process ends up in the waste stream.  MIPs are being used to recover the chromium for reuse.

MIP filters have been developed which remove specific pesticides from wine, oils and water without negatively affecting the flavour. These are now ready for market.

Bush fires in Australia and California have led to smokey taints in wine and significant losses for winemakers.  MIPs can now remove smoke taint.

Ligar is developing MIPs to remove industrial pollutants such as phenol, arsenic, copper, chromium, cadmium and other problematic metals.

Polymers are in development to isolate specific high value sugars from a fruit juice using a rapid pass-through process.