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EXTRACT (from Lat. extrahere, to draw out), in pharmacy, the name given to preparations formed by evaporating or concentrating solutions of active principles; tinctures are solutions which have not been subjected to any evaporation. "Liquid extracts" are those of a syrupy consistency, and are generally prepared by treating the drug with the solvent (water, alcohol, &c.) and concentrating the solution until it attains the desired consistency. "Ordinary extracts" are thick, tenacious and sometimes even dry preparations; they are obtained by evaporating solutions as obtained above, or the juices expressed from the plants.
Extraction, in chemical technology, is a process for separating one substance from another by taking advantage of the varying solubility of the components in some chosen solvent. The term "lixiviation" is used when water is the solvent. In laboratory practice all the common solvents are employed. With small quantities it may suffice to shake the substance with the solvent, the mixture being heated if necessary, filter and distil or otherwise remove the solvent from the distillate. For larger quantities continuous extraction is advisable. This may be carried out in many forms of apparatus; one of the most convenient is the Soxhlet extractor, in which the extract siphons into the flask containing the solvent, and so maintains the quantity of available solvent practically constant. Continuous extraction is generally the practice in technology. One of the most important applications is in the fat and gelatine industries.
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