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Title: Investigation of the controls of the extraction processes for the production of the herbal medicine concoction
Other Titles: Zhong cao yao yao ji ti qu kong zhi guo cheng de tan tao
Authors: Chong, Hiu Fung Johnson (莊曉風)
Department: Dept. of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Herbals
Plant Extracts
Notes: CityU Call Number: QK99.A1 C46 2006
Includes bibliographical references (leaves x-xii)
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2006
iix, 110 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: The traditional method of producing the Chinese herbal medicine concoction uses the boiling process which is based on the principle of “reduction of water quantity”. The herbs are soaked into a given quantity of water, and then boiled with a stable heat down to a quantity determined mainly drawn by experience. Using the principle of “reduction of water quantity” has great difficulty in ensuring the quality of the extract in terms of the “concentration” and “composition” of the biochemical ingredients. The aim of the research is to investigate the measuring techniques and the controls for the establishment of a control method that may facilitate the industrial production of a large quantity of an uniform medicine concoction of containing desired extract. In the production point of view, it is important that the method is assumed to provide the control solutions for the production operation in meeting a given set of manufacturing requirements and constraints. The research covered the aspects of the investigation of measuring techniques, the extraction processes for the formation of an operating method to produce the medical concoction. Experiments were carried out for measuring the property of the concoction which was the color, density, resistance, Spectrophotometry and HPLC for the detection related to “concentration” and “composition”. A particular herbal prescription was used in the experiment for the feasibility study of these measuring techniques. The colors of the concoction at different boiling time were measured by a camera in terms of RGB. Hydrometer and multimeter have been applied to measure the density and resistance of the concoction. Other than that, the Spectrophotometry equipment was used to measure the Area under Curve (AUC) for the representation of the total concentration of the extracts. At last, HPLC was employed to provide the composition measurement of the extracts. The investigation of the extraction processes covered two different approaches – “reduction of water quantity” and “maintaining water quantity as a constant” while boiling which were used to obtain the desired value of concentration and composition for the extraction control. The similarity test has been applied to compare the difference between concoctions. The discussion has been made on the measuring techniques, parameters of measurement as well as the methods for the evaluation of the quality of the herbal medicine concoction in the thesis. The research has examined the dissolving phenomenon for the extraction of active pharmaceutical ingredients in terms of “Soaking process” the herbs in the water, “Heating process” the mixture to bring up the temperature of the water to reach the boiling point and hold the “Boiling process” for a certain period of time. A number of experiments were conducted for the formation of the process equations for “Soaking”, “Heating” and “Boiling”. The research has established process equations and a scheme of ensuring the “composition” of the biochemical ingredients of the concoction in meeting the desired requirement. The established equations and the scheme have been utilized to develop a production model for the manufacturing the herbal medicine concoction. The production model operates under the evolutionary concept of genetic algorithm (GA). The model provides the operating schedules of the extraction processes in meeting the given production constraints of energy and time for the operation of an industrial extraction system. The operating constraints of time and energy in each process have been encoded as chromosome and the process equations have been applied for the evaluation of the production performance. The method and procedures in setting up and tuning the GA operating parameters for the provision of good production schedules for the selection are also discussed in the thesis.
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