Pressurized Fluid Extraction - A Technique for Efficient Extraction of Pharmaceuticals and Food Products

Karthikeyan.R, K.Pallavi & P.Srinivasa Babu

Since the last decade, there is enhanced interest for extraction of the constituents from plants and animal origin. The traditional techniques like maceration, percolation, decoction and some existing methods such as Soxhelation, Super Critical fluid Extraction, etc., are time taking and solvent consuming. This series rings into prominence the importance of novel method of extraction for delivering high quality product. The Pressurized Fluid Extraction Technique (PFE) is a promising technique, which is highlighted by increased extraction yield, decreased time and solvent consumption. More over it helps for removal of solid impurities and the reproducibility is better. A brief theoretical background of the Principle involved, Instrument, and Comparative efficiency with other conventional methods of extraction, method of solid impurities removal and its applications are presented.
World health organization currently encourages, recommends and promotes traditional/herbal remedies in national health care programmes because such drugs are low cost, are comparatively safe and the people have faith in such remedies1. As our understanding of chemistry and other natural sciences has increased, the active chemical compounds of the plants have been successfully isolated and identified.2 Extraction of crude drugs can be done by various processes depending on the physical nature of the drug and chemical properties of the constituents present in it. The demand for new extraction techniques has encouraged the development of alternative extraction techniques such as ultra sonic assisted extraction, super critical fluid extraction and pressurized fluid extraction. These techniques have enabled automation, shortened time and reduced organic solvent consumption.3 Pressurized fluid extraction (PFE) is similar to Soxhelet extraction, except that the solvents are used near their supercritical region where they have high extraction properties. In that physical region the high temperature enables high solubility and high diffusion rate of lipid solutes in the solvent, while the high pressure, in keeping the solvent below its boiling point, enables a high penetration of the solvent in the sample. Thus, PFE permits high extraction efficiency with a low solvent volume (15-40 ml) and a short extraction time (15-20 min). That procedure is also known as “Accelerated Solvent Extraction” (ASE). This procedure was first developed by Dionex4 and validated on a commercially available, automated extraction system.


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