Sub-Critical Fluid Extraction Turmeric vs Hydrodistillation

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Article Comparison of the Sub-Critical Fluid Extraction of the Essential Oil of Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) with That of Hydrodistillation David Mc Gaw 1 and Rosemarie Skeene 2,* 􏰂􏰃􏰄􏰂􏰅 􏰇􏰈􏰉 􏰊􏰋􏰌􏰍􏰎􏰄􏰏 Citation: McGaw,D.;Skeene,R. Comparison of the Sub-Critical Fluid Extraction of the Essential Oil of Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) with That of Hydrodistillation. Eng 2021, 2, 608–619. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/eng2040038 Academic Editors: Angeles Blanco Suarez and Antonio Gil Bravo Received: 12 September 2021 Accepted: 18 November 2021 Published: 23 November 2021 Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affil- iations. Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). 1 2 * Correspondence: rskeene@mdc.edu Abstract: Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is a spice plant grown in the tropics that contains both an essential oil and an oleoresin. The essential oil is important as a flavouring and has pharmaceutical properties, while the oleoresin is bright yellow in colour and has medicinal properties. The essential oil has traditionally been extracted by hydrodistillation/steam distillation with the total extract being extracted by solvent extraction and more recently by supercritical fluid extraction (SFE). The objective of the work described in this paper was to investigate the possibility of extracting the essential oil using sub-critical fluid extraction and to compare it with hydrodistillation. The experiments using hydrodistillation showed that unpeeled fresh turmeric was the preferred raw material, giving an oil yield of ≈6% dry weight basis, which is similar to that reported in the literature. The experimental programme on the extraction of the oil from dried unpeeled turmeric was carried out over a temperature range from 25 to 30 ◦C and pressures from 65 to 71 bar. Yields were generally higher than hydrodistillation (up to ≈9% dry weight basis) as were the compositions of the extracted oils. The preferred operating conditions were determined to be 25 ◦C temperature and 65 bar pressure. Curcumin, the major component of the oleoresin, was not found in the oil, thereby demonstrating that the sub-critical extract is a pure essential oil. It is suggested that consideration be given to evaluating an SFE process whereby the essential oil is initially fully extracted under sub-critical fluid extraction conditions, after which the oleoresin is extracted separately by raising the pressure to ≈250 bar. Keywords: turmeric; hydrodistillation; sub-critical fluid extraction 1. Introduction Many plant species in the tropics secrete complex chemicals, which are extracted and incorporated into various consumer products that may be classified as food flavours, nutraceuticals/pharmaceuticals, perfumes, and various other uses e.g., security sprays, insecticides, dyes, and colourings. There are two basic types of these plant extracts: essential oils and oleoresins. Essential oils [1–3] are the volatile oils giving rise to the odour from the plant. Oleoresins [4], as the name implies, are a mixture of resinous material and oils that have much higher vapour pressures than the essential oils, melting at higher temperatures. One of the major spices grown commercially in the tropics is that of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), the total extract of which contains both an essential oil and oleoresin. The extract of turmeric is an aromatic liquid that is orange yellow in colour. This essential oil component is basically a mixture of volatile oils having the characteristic odour or flavour of turmeric [5], while the oleoresin component contains colouring matter [6]. In addition to their importance as a flavouring, the essential oils possess a wide variety Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, St. Augustine Campus, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine 999183, Trinidad and Tobago; drmcgaw@gmail.com School of Engineering, Technology and Architecture, North Campus, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL 11380, USA Eng 2021, 2, 608–619. https://doi.org/10.3390/eng2040038 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/eng

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