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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6725-6740; doi:10.3390/ijms15046725
Review

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Carotenoids from Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.): A Review

1,* , 2
 and
1
1 Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari–Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ISPA-CNR), Via Prov. le Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali (Di.S.Te.B.A.), Università del Salento, Via Prov. le Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 March 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

Carotenoids are well known for their nutritional properties and health promoting effects representing attractive ingredients to develop innovative functional foods, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical preparations. Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) flesh has an intense yellow/orange color owing to the high level of carotenoids, mainly α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. There is considerable interest in extracting carotenoids and other bioactives from pumpkin flesh. Extraction procedures able to preserve nutritional and pharmacological properties of carotenoids are essential. Conventional extraction methods, such as organic solvent extraction (CSE), have been used to extract carotenoids from plant material for a long time. In recent years, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) extraction has received a great deal of attention because it is a green technology suitable for the extraction of lipophylic molecules and is able to give extracts of high quality and totally free from potentially toxic chemical solvents. Here, we review the results obtained so far on SC-CO2 extraction efficiency and quali-quantitative composition of carotenoids from pumpkin flesh. In particular, we consider the effects of (1) dehydration pre-treatments; (2) extraction parameters (temperature and pressure); the use of water, ethanol and olive oil singularly or in combination as entrainers or pumpkin seeds as co-matrix.
Keywords: carotenoids; conventional solvent extraction; co-matrix; co-solvent; Cucurbita spp. modifier; supercritical carbon dioxide carotenoids; conventional solvent extraction; co-matrix; co-solvent; Cucurbita spp. modifier; supercritical carbon dioxide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Durante, M.; Lenucci, M.S.; Mita, G. Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Carotenoids from Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.): A Review. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 6725-6740.

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