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.