Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and fractionation of fennel oil.

PMID 10564030


Ground fennel seeds were extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide. Small-scale subsequent extractions of the same sample showed that the composition of volatile compounds was changed with the extension of extraction time and only principal volatile components (limonene, fenchone, methylchavicol, and anethole) were present in the last-extracted sample. Fennel oil was successfully fractionated into the essential oil rich and fatty oil rich products in pilot-scale apparatus using two separators in series. Designed experiments were carried out to map the effects of pressure and temperature in the first separator on the yields and compositions of the products. The minimum level of the total undesired components in both essential oil rich and fatty oil rich products appeared at a pressure of 80-84 bar and a temperature of 31-35 degrees C in the first separator. Supercritical CO(2) extraction of fennel seeds resulted in higher yield (10.0%) than steam distillation (3.0%), almost the same yield as hexane extraction (10.6%), and lower yield than alcohol extraction (15.4%). Analysis of the volatile compounds revealed the significant difference of the composition in distilled oil and oleoresins prepared by CO(2) and solvent extractions. Sensory evaluation showed that the CO(2) extraction product and distilled oil were more intense in odor and taste than alcohol and hexane extracts.