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Supercritical fluid extraction as a potential extraction technique for the food industry
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1  1Universidade de Vigo, Nutrition and Bromatology Group, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Science, Faculty of Science, E32004 Ourense, Spain.
2  2 Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolonia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal.
3  3 Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencia y Tecnología de Materiales, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (INTEMA-CONICET), Colón 10850, Mar del Plata (7600), Argentina
Academic Editor: Chi-Fai Chau


Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a non-conventional extraction technique that that has the potential to be used in the food industry because it can recover both polar and non-polar compounds. This technique is carried out above the critical point of the extraction solvent, allowing for the control and manipulation of different properties such as diffusivity, viscosity, and density. This is possible due to the fluid's changes in pressure and temperature, which cause variations in selectivity and power. This eco-friendly extraction technique has several advantages, including high selectivity due to changes in pressure and temperature, as well as changes in the solvent’s polarity, by adding co-solvents. Thus, optimizing operational conditions is a critical step in achieving the highest yield recovery of the target compound. In this way, the main variables to be considered are temperature, pressure, time, and solvent extraction, and both diffusion and solubilization are processes that have a significant influence on the extraction. SFE has already been used in the food industry due to the benefits of this technique and its suitability for both polar and non-polar compound extraction. For example, the food industry employs this extraction technique in a variety of products, including decaffeinated coffee and tea, low fat products (such as, butter and meat products), and enriched flavor distillated drinks. Furthermore, this technique has been studied for the extraction of bioactive compounds that can be incorporated into food products to increase their nutritional value. Additionally, SFE has the potential to remove toxic compounds such as pesticides in fruits and vegetables and toxins in sea products. The goal of this work is to compile the most recent data on SFE applications in the food industry, thereby providing insight into SFE feasibility in a large-scale process.

Keywords: green extraction technique, supercritical fluid, critical point, bioactive compounds, food application.