Extraction of oil and minor compounds from oil palm fruit with supercritical carbon dioxide
A significant quantity of tocochromanols and carotenoids remains in the residual from palm oil production by traditional screw pressing. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction was used as alternative method with the purpose to recover better these valuable minor compounds. Total oil yield and co-extracted water were investigated in the course of extraction. Tocochromanols and carotenoids were evaluated, not only in the extraction oil, but also in the oil of residual fibre. Modelling of extraction process was also performed for a further up-scaling. The results showed that oil yield up to 90% could be observed within 120 min. Supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2) could extract tocochromanols and carotenoids with concentration in the same range of normal commercial processing palm oil, while co-extracted water remained rather low at a level of 2–4%. Moreover, recovery efficiencies of these minor compounds were much higher in case of extraction processed with supercritical carbon dioxide than those with screw pressing method.