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Techno-economic evaluation of the production of oil and phenolic-rich extracts from Mauritia flexuosa L.f. using sequential supercritical and conventional solvent extraction
* 1, 2 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 3
1  Grupo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación en Alimentos, Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Lima, Peru
2  Instituto de Ciencias de los Alimentos y Nutrición (ICAN-USIL), Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Lima, Peru
3  Laboratory of Agroindustrial Processes Engineering (LAPE), Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Cachoeira do Sul, Brazil
Academic Editor: Antonio Cilla


Mauritia flexuosa L.f. is a palm from the South American Amazon, from its fruits, pulp and oil are extracted with a high content of phenolic compounds and unsaturated fatty acids, respectively. Some extraction methodologies have been evaluated for the recovery of bioactive compounds from these fruits, however, there is a lack of information on the operating costs of extraction on an industrial scale. In the present study, two scenarios under standardized conditions were evaluated: (1) Conventional solvent extraction (CSE) with ethanol 80% for the recovery of phenolic-rich extracts and (2) Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) using CO2 (42 g CO2/min) at 315.15 K and 20 MPa, followed by CSE to obtain oil and phenolic-rich extracts. The aim of this study was to compare the extraction yield and composition of each extract in both scenarios. Furthermore, an economic evaluation and sensitivity study was performed using SuperPro Designer 9.0 software, at an extraction volume of 2000 L. Similar extraction yields were obtained in both scenarios, however, 8.4 and 2.4 times more total phenolics and total flavonoids were extracted, respectively, using SFE+CSE. The cost of manufacturing (COM) was higher in SFE+CSE compared to CSE, US$ 193.38/kg and US$ 126.47/kg, respectively. Nevertheless, the net present value (NPV) was negative in CSE and US$ 193,979,000.00 in SFE+CSE. The sensitivity study showed that the cost of raw material (CRM) and fixed investment capital (FCI) were the main components of COM in both scenarios (89.22% and 10.10% in CSE, as well as 57.02% and 42.48% in SFE+CSE, respectively). In addition, SFE+CSE presented the highest efficiency of the extraction processes with a gross margin (GM), return on investment (ROI) and payback time (PBT) of 19.73%, 15.54% and 6.43 years, respectively. SFE+CSE was the most economically feasible process for obtaining bioactive compounds on an industrial scale from Mauritia flexuosa L.f.

Keywords: Mauritia flexuosa L.f.; conventional solvent extraction; supercritical fluid extraction; phenolic compounds; economic analysis.