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Supercritical impregnation for food applications: a review of the effect of the operational variables on the active compound loading

Rojas, Adrián, Torres, Alejandra, José Galotto, María, Guarda, Abel, Julio, Romero
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 2020 v.60 no.8 pp. 1290-1301
active ingredients, dietary supplements, dyeing, fabrics, food packaging, functional foods, fungicides, industry, polymers, solutes, temperature, wood
The scCO₂-assisted impregnation process has arisen as an effective method to impregnate solid materials. Its multiple advantages include high diffusion, it allows to obtain free-solvent materials and to operate under low temperatures, which permits to process thermolabile solutes. These characteristics have allowed its application at industrial scale for the impregnation of wood with fungicides and in the last years for textile dyeing. Meanwhile, other numerous applications are still being studied at laboratory scale. One potential field of application corresponds to the food-related industry, which includes the use of scCO₂-assisted impregnation process to develop active materials for food packaging and to generate food-grade materials loaded with nutraceuticals for functional food applications. In this framework, this article summarizes the advantages and the main drawbacks with the scCO₂-assisted impregnation process. The effect of the processing variables of the scCO₂-assisted impregnation process is discussed in terms of the incorporation of active compounds within polymer structures. Including the principles and description of the process and a review of the investigated systems for a better understanding.