Isolation of essential oil from different plants and herbs by supercritical fluid extraction.J Chromatogr A. 2012 Aug 10; 1250:34-48.JC
Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is an innovative, clean and environmental friendly technology with particular interest for the extraction of essential oil from plants and herbs. Supercritical CO(2) is selective, there is no associated waste treatment of a toxic solvent, and extraction times are moderate. Further, supercritical extracts were often recognized of superior quality when compared with those produced by hydro-distillation or liquid-solid extraction. This review provides a comprehensive and updated discussion of the developments and applications of SFE in the isolation of essential oils from plant matrices. SFE is normally performed with pure CO(2) or using a cosolvent; fractionation of the extract is commonly accomplished in order to isolate the volatile oil compounds from other co-extracted substances. In this review the effect of pressure, temperature and cosolvent on the extraction and fractionation procedure is discussed. Additionally, a comparison of the extraction yield and composition of the essential oil of several plants and herbs from Lamiaceae family, namely oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram and marigold, which were produced in our supercritical pilot-plant device, is presented and discussed.