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Refined capsicum extract by CO2 extraction process

Refining of capsicum oleoresin

Extracting capsicum red pigment by solvent method, due to complex raw materials and poor selectivity of solvent, the resulting product has poor purity and peculiar smell, so capsicum oleoresin (or extract) must be further deodorized and refined before it can be used. The process of refining capsicum oleoresin with supercritical CO2 fluid is: capsicum→cleaning→drying→crushing→solvent extraction→capsicum oleoresin→supercritical CO2fluid extraction→capsicum pigment (red and yellow pigments)

Read More: Supercritical CO2 Extraction Process: Basics, 7 Advantages, 7 Features, 4 Applications

Refining of Capsaicin

The specific content of refinement includes the following aspects. Read More: Capsanthin Wikipedia

Removal of odor components

4 odors of Capsaicin

The analysis results of gas chromatography (GC) show that there are mainly four kinds of odor components in capsicum oleoresin separated by supercritical CO2 fluid, one of which is an unpleasant odor of resin that is unfavorable to food, and the remaining three can be used for food flavoring. The unique aroma of chili powder. The separation results of odor components can be obtained by sensory discrimination and gas chromatography. The sensory judgment method is to take 1000mg of the sample and dissolve it in 100mL hot water at 60°C. Five tasters will divide it into unpleasant odor and aroma according to the nature of the odor, and use the average value to express the odor concentration.

CO2 Extraction Process for Removal of Odor Components

The removal of odor components uses a two-stage separation extraction system. The specific operating parameters are: extraction tank 14MPa/40°C, first-stage separation tank 7.5MPa/40°C, second-stage separation tank 4MPa/40°C. When CO₂ enters the first-stage separation kettle from the extraction kettle, the fatty acid substances are separated, and the odor components enter the second-stage separation kettle with CO₂ to be separated. In the first 2 hours, there were also odorous components in the first-stage separation tank, but after 4.5 hours, the unpleasant gas gradually disappeared and began to emit fragrance.

CO2 extraction process to remove the spicy taste of chili

When the extraction pressure is less than 10MPa, the yellow and spicy substances are mainly extracted. When the pressure is greater than 12MPa, the red pigment can be basically extracted. Further increasing the pressure can also extract the red pigment and more insoluble components such as resin and fruit. Glue separates.

In this way, high-quality capsanthin with complete heat removal and low impurity content can be obtained. It is completely feasible to use supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method to despice and refine capsicum oleoresin, and the color value loss of red cord during the separation process is about 5%, which has obvious advantages over the traditional despicing process.

Pigment components in CO2 separation and extraction process

Capsicum oleoresin contains a variety of pigment components, including red pigments such as capsanthin and capsorubin, and yellow pigments such as zeaxanthin and β-carotene. The chemical structures of the two-color pigment components are very similar, and it is difficult to separate them by ordinary methods.

Read More: Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine: Types, Extraction Tips

CO2 extraction process

When using the supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method for separation, the specific operating parameters are: extraction tank 20MPa/45°C, first-stage separation tank 12MPa/45°C, second-stage separation tank 4MPa/45°C. The yellow pigment is precipitated in the first-stage separation tank, and the residual components are separated out in the second-stage separation tank. After continuous extraction for 25 hours, the red pigment and the yellow pigment can be basically separated.

Industrial CO2 Extraction Machine Standard Parameter Table

Extraction Capacity
(24 hours/kg)
Work Pressure
Extraction Vessels
Separation Vessels
Biomass reference value of 24H extraction capacity: moisture content: <10%, specific gravity: 0.25KG/L

Read More: CO2 Essential Oil Extraction Equipment, Industrial Extractor

5 Terminology About Plant Extraction

  1. RBD: RBD is the abbreviation for “Refined, Bleached and Deodorized.” Within the description / extraction method for each of our vegetable oils, we note those oils that are refined, bleached or deodorized.
  2. Refined: Some oils undergo a refinement process in order to remove impurities, improve the color or texture, or stabilize the shelf life of the oil. The oil is reacted with a weak base solution to saponify the free fatty acids into soap. The oil is then centrifuged and washed with water until the pure oil remains. The oil may also be degummed to remove the sticky phospholipids, color pigments and odor lending portions.
  3. Bleached: Some lipids are bleached in order to improve the color and clarity of the oil. Bleaching is generally done by passing the oil through fuller’s earth or clay and then filtering the oil.
  4. Deodorized: Some lipids undergo a deodorization process in order to remove compounds that lend an unappealing or overpowering aroma to the oil. This is generally done by blowing high temperature steam through the oil to vaporize the aromatic components. This process is made more effective by heating the oil to high temperatures and performing this process under a vacuum to help remove all of the volatile odorous substances. Due to the high temperatures used, deodorization is clearly the most damaging process of refinement.
  5. Winterized: Oils that are winterized are cooled and filtered to remove the solid crystallized fractions. This process results in a lighter, clearer oil.