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Molecules 2012, 17(7), 8397-8407; doi:10.3390/molecules17078397

Supercritical Extraction of Lycopene from Tomato Industrial Wastes with Ethane

1,2,* , 1, 2, 2,3, 2 and 1
1 Unidade de Bioenergia, LNEG, Estrada do Paço do Lumiar, 1649-038 Lisboa, Portugal 2 Centro Química Estrutural, DEQB, IST, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal 3 Centro de Ciências Moleculares e Materiais, DQB, FCUL, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2012 / Revised: 3 July 2012 / Accepted: 5 July 2012 / Published: 11 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Extraction in Supercritical Fluids)
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Supercritical fluid extraction of all-E-lycopene from tomato industrial wastes (mixture of skins and seeds) was carried out in a semi-continuous flow apparatus using ethane as supercritical solvent. The effect of pressure, temperature, feed particle size, solvent superficial velocity and matrix initial composition was evaluated. Moreover, the yield of the extraction was compared with that obtained with other supercritical solvents (supercritical CO2 and a near critical mixture of ethane and propane). The recovery of all-E-lycopene increased with pressure, decreased with the increase of the particle size in the initial stages of the extraction and was not practically affected by the solvent superficial velocity. The effect of the temperature was more complex. When the temperature increased from 40 to 60 °C the recovery of all-E-lycopene increased from 80 to 90%. However, for a further increase to 80 °C, the recovery remained almost the same, indicating that some E-Z isomerization could have occurred, as well as some degradation of lycopene. The recovery of all-E-lycopene was almost the same for feed samples with different all-E-lycopene content. Furthermore, when a batch with a higher all-E-lycopene content was used, supercritical ethane and a near critical mixture of ethane and propane showed to be better solvents than supercritical CO2 leading to a faster extraction with a higher recovery of the carotenoid.
Keywords: carotenoids; ethane; lycopene extraction; supercritical fluid carotenoids; ethane; lycopene extraction; supercritical fluid
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Nobre, B.P.; Gouveia, L.; Matos, P.G.S.; Cristino, A.F.; Palavra, A.F.; Mendes, R.L. Supercritical Extraction of Lycopene from Tomato Industrial Wastes with Ethane. Molecules 2012, 17, 8397-8407.

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