Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: February 25, 2010
Publication Date: November 1, 2010
Citation: Tomasula, P.M. 2010. Supercritical fluid extraction and processing of foods. Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering. 2nd Edition. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Enclopedia Program. 1(1):1620-1623.
Consumers are aware of the processing techniques used to manufacture food and health supplements and are concerned about the impact of those processes on their health and the environment. Processes that use supercritical fluids as an alternative to solvents that are used to extract nutrients and bioactive compounds from foods; refine foods such as grains; or, fractionate food components to obtain pure flavor, aroma or color compounds, are of interest. Supercritical carbon dioxide is the most commonly used supercritical fluid. It utilizes carbon dioxide obtained from other processes, it is a nontoxic solvent which does not leave a solvent residue on foods, and it is compatible with the environment because it eliminates solvent emissions into water and the air. Supercritical fluids are increasingly being used as agents to produce pure, powdered microparticles of pharmaceuticals and food nutrients.