Extraction of oil, carotenes and tocochromanols from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit with subcritical propane
This work aims to screen the extraction of oil and bioactive compounds including carotenes and tocochromanols from oil palm fruit with subcritical propane and without using a cosolvent. The overall extraction curves of palm oil with subcritical propane were studied and compared to those extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide. Carotenes and tocochromanols were evaluated not only in the extracted oil. but also in the oil of residual fiber in order to calculate the efficiency to recover these valuable compounds. The experimental results showed that oil yield of up to 70 % could be obtained within 120 minutes with subcritical propane at 50 bar and a flow rate of 35 kg·h-1·kg-1-. It was also shown that compressed propane is an excellent solvent for the extraction of oil enriched in carotenes and tocochromanols. Subcritical propane extraction can be used as an alternative process for the simultaneous recovery of these valuable minor components from palm fruit.
Subcritical propane extraction