Techno-economic and Environmental Assessment of Supercritical Pumpkin (Curcubita maxima) extraction
Caballero Ashley S1, Idárraga Ángela M1, Cardona Carlos A1**.
1 Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Instituto de Biotecnología y Agroindustria, (+57) (6) 879400 ext 55354.
** Corresponding author: email@example.com
The pumpkin (Curcubita maxima) is a vegetable native of Central and South America widely spread in the world, which is used due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. The pumpkin is mainly composed by aminoacids, vitamins, fat, fiber, minerals and sugars.
The Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) is a mass transfer operation which occurs above the solvent supercritical point having advantages of high selectivity, and high purity extracts. The SFE is applied for chemical process, food, pharmaceutical, oil industry and waste removal . The aim of this work was to obtain antioxidants and phenolic compounds from pumpkin seeds, pulp, and peels. The antioxidants are very important in pharmaceutical and food industry to reduce oxidative stress in cells and treat human diseases. This process was performed through supercritical extraction technology as an alternative to conventional soxhlet extraction, and microwave-assisted extraction process.
The raw materials were dried and ground at 45°C to avoid the degradation of thermolabile compounds. The extractions were performed using supercritical CO2 which increases yields and avoids degradation of components and ethanol as co-solvent. The three different pressures (200, 250 and 300 bar) were evaluated at 50°C, which was ideal to avoid degrade phenolic compounds. The total antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of the samples were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu test and DPPH method.
Techno-economic assessment at the propused processes was carried out employing Aspen Plus V8.2 for generating the mass and energy balances, while the economic assessment was performed using the commercial software Aspen Process Economic Analyzer V8.2. Environmental assessment to determine the potential environmental impact was made using Waste Reduction Algorithm (WAR) per kilogram of product.
As a result of this prefactibility study, the potential of pumpkin to obtain antioxidant compounds through supercritical extraction technology was shown.
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