Skip to content

Supercritical Extraction in Pesticide Residue Analysis

Sealing device for CO2 extraction vessel

Pesticides are widely and heavily used in agriculture to increase crop yields and reduce human labor, but the increased use of pesticides can lead to agricultural over-reliance and pesticide residue in food, which can have adverse effects on human health. Therefore, it is important to develop a fast, sensitive, and reliable pesticide residue analysis technique to control pesticide residue and ensure food safety. Supercritical CO2 extraction technology is a new separation technology in chemical engineering. As research on its application in pesticide residue analysis advances, it has demonstrated its advantages, such as simple sample preparation, short extraction time, high extraction efficiency, accurate results, and good reproducibility, making it increasingly popular in pesticide residue analysis.

Application in Pesticide Residue Analysis in Food

tabletop co2 extractor, CO2 extraction machine for home,【small co2 extraction machine for sale

Since food composition is complex and pesticide residues are in small quantities, a highly sensitive and specific method of extraction and analysis is required. Supercritical fluids have a specific solubility characteristic, making them suitable for the extraction and separation of trace components. Therefore, supercritical extraction technology is widely used in pesticide residue analysis in food. By using a combination of supercritical fluid extraction and gas chromatography techniques, the residue of 17 organic chlorinated pesticides in grains and tea was determined and compared with traditional methods. As a result, it was found that supercritical extraction technology is more suitable for pesticide residue analysis of food.

Application in Pesticide Residue Analysis in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Supercritical fluids have a high solubility characteristic for fat-soluble pesticides, making this technology not only suitable to remove pesticide residues in traditional Chinese medicine but also not causing too much loss of effective ingredients. This technology is particularly suited to remove pesticide residues present in traditional Chinese medicine. Researchers removed organic chlorinated pesticide residues from Astragalus membranaceus using a supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method, then measured the pesticide residue in Astragalus membranaceus before and after the toxin extraction by capillary gas chromatography to evaluate the efficiency of supercritical extraction technology for pesticide residue treatment. The results show that almost 90% of the residual pesticides in Astragalus membranaceus were effectively removed, and the relative content of the active ingredient astragalus saponin in Astragalus membranaceus was not significantly changed, indicating that the method has good selectivity and a very promising application prospect.

Application in Pesticide Residue Analysis in Soil

At present, some organic pesticides or other substances enter the soil and combine with organic matter or minerals in the soil to form combination residues. These combination residues are difficult to extract using traditional methods, and supercritical extraction technology with its unique advantages is gradually becoming an effective method for researching combination residues in soil. Chinese researchers used supercritical CO2 fluid to investigate the combined residue of 2,4-D and diuron in the soil, and found that supercritical CO2 fluid extraction technology can effectively extract pesticides in combined residue, and the efficiency of supercritical extraction can be regulated by changing temperature and pressure conditions.


Supercritical Agarwood Oil CO2 extraction machine 【CO2 Essential Oil Extraction Equipment

In summary, supercritical extraction technology is a reliable, fast and efficient technique that can be effectively applied to pesticide residue analysis in food, traditional Chinese medicine, and soil. Its advantages of simple sample preparation, short extraction time, high extraction efficiency, accurate results, and good reproducibility make it an advantageous and innovative technology in pesticide residue analysis that has a wide application prospect.

Advantages of Supercritical Extraction Technology in Pesticide Residue Analysis

Simple sample preparationDoes not require complicated and time-consuming processes.
Short extraction timeCan be completed in a short period of time.
High extraction efficiencyAble to extract a variety of target components with high efficiency.
Accurate resultsResults are highly reproducible and accurate.
Good reproducibilityAble to produce consistent results with low error rates.


  • Bilitewski, U., & Dürbeck, T. (2004). Solid-phase micro-extraction method for ‘free’plant lipids: Rapid and effective quality control of fresh foods. Journal of Chromatography A, 1023(2), 327-337.
  • Meng, X.-z., & Zhang, X.-m. (2002). Supercritical fluid extraction of flavonoids from Chinese herbal medicines and their anti-cancer activity. Journal of Chromatography B, 768(1), 9-15.
  • Huang, L., Wang, B., Zhang, Y., & Ji, X. (2007). Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction and separation of flavonoids from the Chinese herb Epimedium brevicornum Maxim. Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 82(8), 727-733.
  • Yu, W., & Yan, H. (2011). Applications of supercritical fluid extraction in traditional Chinese