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Latin American applied research

Print version ISSN 0327-0793


AMBROGI, A.; CARDARELLI, D. A.  and  EGGERS, R.. Separation of natural colorants using a combined high pressure extraction-adsorption process. Lat. Am. appl. res. [online]. 2003, vol.33, n.3, pp.323-326. ISSN 0327-0793.

The goal of this work was to find a process to extract and separate carotene from natural sources using supercritical carbon dioxide. A high pressure extraction process was compared with a combined extraction-adsorption process. The experiments were performed with a pilot plant which can be operated up to 50 MPa and 100oC. A technique using an on-line photometer, was used to estimate the concentration of carotenoids in the fluid phase, to monitor the different steps of the process. During the extraction of paprika powder, a time fractionation of pigments was observed: a low concentration fraction of free carotenoids at the beginning of the process and an enriched esterified carotenoid fraction at the end. With the combined extraction-adsorption process, using silica gel as adsorbent, a selective adsorption occurred. Red pigments (mainly esterified carotenoid) were adsorbed but the yellow ones (mainly free carotenoid) remained in supercritical phase which were collected in a separation step at lower pressure.

Keywords : Fractionation; Supercritical Fluids Carotenoids; Paprika.

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