Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Lutein from Scenedesmus almeriensis.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) (2019-04-17)
Sanjeet Mehariya, Angela Iovine, Giuseppe Di Sanzo, Vincenzo Larocca, Maria Martino, Gian Paolo Leone, Patrizia Casella, Despina Karatza, Tiziana Marino, Dino Musmarra, Antonio Molino

Lutein has several benefits for human health, playing an important role in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, amelioration of the first stages of atherosclerosis, and some types of cancer. In this work, the Scenedesmus almeriensis microalga was used as a natural source for the supercritical fluid (SF) extraction of lutein. For this purpose, the optimization of the main parameters affecting the extraction, such as biomass pre-treatment, temperature, pressure, and carbon dioxide (CO₂) flow rate, was performed. In the first stage, the effect of mechanical pre-treatment (diatomaceous earth (DE) and biomass mixing in the range 0.25-1 DE/biomass; grinding speed varying between 0 and 600 rpm, and pre-treatment time changing from 2.5 to 10 min), was evaluated on lutein extraction efficiency. In the second stage, the influence of SF-CO₂ extraction parameters such as pressure (25-55 MPa), temperature (50 and 65 °C), and CO₂ flow rate (7.24 and 14.48 g/min) on lutein recovery and purity was investigated. The results demonstrated that by increasing temperature, pressure, and CO₂ flow rate lutein recovery and purity were improved. The maximum lutein recovery (~98%) with purity of ~34% was achieved operating at 65 °C and 55 MPa with a CO₂ flow rate of 14.48 g/min. Therefore, optimum conditions could be useful in food industries for lutein supplementation in food products.

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Boron trifluoride-methanol solution, 14% in methanol
Supelco 37 Component FAME Mix, certified reference material, TraceCERT®, in dichloromethane (varied conc.), ampule of 1 mL