Jump to Main Content
An original approach for lipophilic natural products extraction: Use of liquefied n-butane as alternative solvent to n-hexane
- Rapinel, Vincent, Rombaut, Natacha, Rakotomanomana, Njara, Vallageas, Alain, Cravotto, Giancarlo, Chemat, Farid
- Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + [i.e. und] Technologie 2017 v.85 pp. 524-533
- Helianthus annuus, butanes, caraway, carrots, essential oils, foods, gases, hexane, odors, oilseeds, seeds, solubility, solvents, sunflower oil, toxicity
- Recent trends in food extraction techniques have largely focused on finding solutions that minimize the use of toxic solvents or to find alternatives for n-hexane. As an original solution, a new process for extraction of natural product using liquefied gases has been developed at laboratory scale. The applicability of this new process was demonstrated using n-butane as alternative solvent to n-hexane. Extraction of lipophilic natural products such as carrot oleoresin, caraway aromas and sunflower oil was assessed using liquefied n-butane. COSMO-RS simulations allowed determination of the relative solubility of the lipophilic compounds in liquefied n-butane and n-hexane. This theoretical approach was validated with extraction experiments on carrots, caraway seeds and sunflower seeds. Compositions of the extracts were comparable but the extract yields were lower using n-butane. For example the extraction yields were, with n-butane and with n-hexane respectively, 36.9% and 53.4% for sunflower seeds oil, 10.9% and 15.0% for caraway seed essential oil, 25.7% and 55.8% for carrots oleoresin. However the extracts obtained by using n-butane are directly free of solvents and also food grade, as it is an authorized solvent for foodstuff production.