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Supercritical CO2 extraction of natural carotene


A large number of studies have shown that carotene can inhibit lipid peroxidation, quench free radicals, anti-aging, etc.;

Supercritical CO2 extraction of natural carotene
Supercritical CO2 extraction of natural carotene

It can prevent, reduce swelling and treat some diseases, especially in cancer and cardiovascular diseases. At the same time, it can also improve the body’s immune function and have an anti-nico effect.

Xinjiang is rich in rare earth resources. Due to its unique environmental and geographical advantages, the β-carotene in carrots grown can reach 10-300mg/100g.

Extraction method of β-carotene

At present, there are many studies on the extraction of natural carotene from carrots, but organic solvents are mainly used for extraction.

The use of organic solvents will bring varying degrees of pollution, is easy to remain, and is not easy to recycle, the separation process is complicated, and it is not suitable as a raw material for functional foods.

Supercritical CO2 extraction

carotene supercritical CO2 extraction equipment
carotene supercritical CO2 extraction equipment

Supercritical CO2 extraction can overcome many shortcomings of organic solvent extraction. It has the advantages of simple process and convenient operation. It has unique advantages for the extraction and separation of active ingredients such as fat-soluble substances, volatile components, and highly heat-sensitive substances.

Carrot pretreatment

After the carrots are peeled and shredded, they are quickly placed in a blast drying box for drying. The dried carrots are crushed with a grinder and passed through a 60-80 mesh sieve, packed and sealed for later use.

Process parameters of supercritical CO2 extraction of carotene

Extraction time

With the extension of the extraction time, the extraction rate firstly increases by a large margin, and then tends to be flat. The length of the extraction time depends on the extraction pressure within a certain range. Increasing the extraction pressure can increase the density of the supercritical CO2 fluid, thereby making Its ability to dissolve carotene is correspondingly improved, which is conducive to extraction and shortens the extraction time.

Best extraction time: 160 minutes

Extraction pressure

However, as the extraction pressure increases, the compressibility of the CO2 fluid becomes smaller, and the increase in density is smaller, but it will increase its viscosity and decrease its diffusivity, thereby reducing its mass transfer rate accordingly. Reduce the extraction effect.
Optimum extraction pressure: 24MPa

Extraction temperature

With the extension of the extraction time, the content of β-carotene in the extract keeps increasing;
As the temperature increased, the content of β-carotene in the extract increased rapidly first, and then increased more slowly.

The extraction temperature is 40~50℃, the extraction rate changes greatly first, and then tends to be flat; with the increase of pressure, the CO2 density decreases less when the temperature is raised, and the extraction temperature is too high will greatly reduce the CO2 density and make its dissolving ability decrease , Is not conducive to solute extraction.

Optimum extraction temperature: 46℃

In conclusion

The optimal conditions for supercritical CO2 fluid extraction of β-carotene are: carrot particle size: 70 mesh, extraction pressure 24MPa, extraction temperature 46.22°C, extraction time 160 minutes.

The theoretical value of β-carotene in the extract is 31.59mg/g.

Photo of carotene supercritical CO2 extraction equipment

Application of Supercritical CO2 Extraction Technology in the Extraction of β-Carotene

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