Supercritical fluid extraction technology has been widely used as an alternative method to extract the natural products. In this work palm-pressed mesocarp fiber was subjected to supercritical CO2 to extract residual oil enriched with ß-carotene and a-tocopherol. The extraction was carried out at various operating conditions using semi-continuous extraction technique with ethano as co-solvent for 360 minutes.
Yield of extracted residual oil, ß-carotene, and a-tocopherol increase with increasing pressure and temperature. Their maximum yield were obtained at pressure between 30-40 MPa and temperature between 70-80oC, respectively. Flow rate CO2 between 3-4 mL/min contribute a small effect on the yield of extracted residual oil and ß-carotene, but contribute almost significantly on the yield of a-tocopherol. Yield of ß-carotene and of a-tocopherol increase with increasing co-solvent. But effect of co-solvent to the yield of ß-carotene is relatively small compared to the yield of a-tocopherol.
The results mentioned above show the potential use of supercritical CO2 to extract residual oil from palm-pressed mesocarp fiber.