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Can ionic liquid solvents be applied in the food industry?

Martins, Paula Larangeira Garcia, Braga, Anna Rafaela, de Rosso, Veridiana Vera
Trends in food science & technology 2017 v.66 pp. 117-124
animals, food industry, foods, in vitro studies, ionic liquids, ions, melting point, organic salts, toxicity, volatile organic compounds
Currently, increased attention is drawn to replacing volatile organic solvents used for extraction with ionic liquids (ILs). ILs are organic salts consisting entirely of ions, having melting points below 100 °C and being a promising alternative to traditional volatile organic solvents from both environmental and technological perspectives.Despite being extensively researched, ILs have not yet been evaluated as eco-friendly solvents for the food industry, which is the aim of the present work. Based on literature data on the use of ILs as extractants and their toxicities and biological activities, we conclude that their utilization as food industry solvents is a promising research area due to the possibility of solvent recycling.Key Findings and Conclusions: Despite the lack of information on the toxicity of food products contaminated by residual ILs, low doses of ILs in animal and in vitro tests resulted in no cell damage. Thus, new applications of ILs in the food industry are possible, addressing the limitations and needs of each process.