Skip to content

Supercritical fluid extraction technology in cosmetic

The supercritical CO2 extraction method and natural flavors

The CO2 extraction process makes it possible to target the desired active ingredients and to set up a selective extraction. The technology is significantly more efficient than conventional distillation.

Natural flavors extraction

In the fragrance industry, it is difficult to artificially synthesize some of the key aromas and aromas of natural flavors with the state of the art, and it is not harmful to the environment. Therefore, how to effectively extract and extract the flavors and fragrances that people need from natural raw materials has become a research topic.

Due to the traditional methods of steam distillation, rectification, solvent extraction, bleaching, pressing, etc., in the process of extracting perfume, it is prone to thermal decomposition, solvent residue, or partial aromatics volatilization loss.

The cosmetic industries initially use chemical solvents such as acetone, ethanol, methanol, or benzene, pollutants, the use of which can be dangerous and which show possible toxicity. Supercritical CO2 is simply a state of carbon dioxide between liquid and gaseous. This state allows it to have solvent properties and to be able to enter into the heart of the material to extract the desired compounds. This process makes it possible to target the desired active ingredients and to set up a selective extraction. The technology is significantly more efficient than conventional distillation.

Supercritical co2 extraction method

In recent years, supercritical fluid extraction technology has been widely used in various heat-sensitive, high-boiling substances for purification and separation, and has made great progress in applications and research in the fields of chemical, food, pharmaceutical, fragrance, and chemical analysis.

Supercritical fluid extraction technology can solve these problems and obtain high-quality flavors and fragrances that can maintain natural color, aroma, and taste. The CO2 extracts harvested are microbiologically stable and show no trace of solvents, almost sterile by nature (their exposure to pesticides during their culture, for example, is erased) very concentrated, pure and saturated with active compounds. For example, the co2 extracts produced by the supercritical co2 extraction process can thus boost the cosmetic creams, giving them many properties or bringing the purest aroma or fragrance.

Why co2 is used in supercritical fluid extraction?

Why is CO2 extracted?

This is due to CO2 having a critical point of 31.1 ° C and 7280 KPa. The extraction temperature is generally about 40 ° C, which is particularly advantageous for heat-sensitive materials, and the aromatic components do not thermally decompose.

Advantages of supercritical CO2 extraction flavor and fragrance

CO2 is an inert gas. During the extraction of flavor and fragrance, the aromatic component is not susceptible to oxidative deterioration.

CO2 has stable chemical properties, no burning, no corrosion, is safe and non-toxic, easy to separate from extracts, no residue. 4 In particular, CO2 has good solubility for aromatic, non-polar, or weak aromatic compounds such as esters, ketones, and terpenes, and many polarities such as proteins, sugars, glycosides, and phospholipids, so it is especially suitable for the extraction of natural flavors and fragrances.

supercritical CO2 fluid extraction process and equipment The use of supercritical CO2 fluid to extract natural flavors and fragrances generally does not work at high temperatures, but the working pressure is high.

CO2 extraction process of natural flavors

At present, batch extraction processes are used. The equipment is generally made of stainless steel pressure vessels.

The CO2 is compressed by the compressor through the filter and then enters the extractor (used by several extractors in order to improve the working efficiency), and is extracted and extracted in the extractor with the pre-packed natural flavor raw material. The fluid containing the extract then enters the separator where it is depressurized and separated, the solubility of the solute (extracted perfume) in CO2 is reduced, and the solvent CO2 is withdrawn from the top of the separator and returned to the compressor for recycling.

flavors and essential oils

It is hoped that the extracted natural flavors and fragrances will retain their original natural aroma and natural color as much as possible, while CO2 supercritical extraction technology can achieve both extraction and assurance.


The fragrances retain their natural aromas and aromas while retaining their natural qualities, the terpenes are the most important component

For example, people have used this method to extract high-quality essential oils from fragrant flowers such as lilacs, roses, and the like, and extract high-quality essential oils from edible spices such as almonds, star anise, and mint.

Yes, the terpenes in them are well extracted!

Steam distillation vs co2 extraction

Flavors and fragrances obtained by conventional methods are often difficult to maintain their original flavor.
For example, ginger oil is extracted from ginger, and the traditional steam distillation method not only takes a long time for heating, but also has low oil yield and cannot extract gingerol in components, and the supercritical co2 extraction method can simultaneously obtain volatile oil and gingerol.
Another example is lilac with a unique floral aroma. With the conventional steam distillation method, since a part of the fragrant component is decomposed during the distillation, the obtained essential oil does not completely reflect the floral scent. When the essential oil is obtained by CO2 supercritical extraction, it has a perfect floral aroma.


Compared with the separation extraction method, supercritical fluid extraction has many irreplaceable advantages, which can meet some special requirements in many industrial fields, but the high-pressure technology and equipment required are not conducive to its popularization and application, but The production of high-value flavors and fragrances industry has aroused great interest and has achieved great success.

In addition, the combination of micronized technology and supercritical fluid extraction technology can greatly increase the extraction rate and shorten the extraction time. Recently, the combination of electric pulse, ultrasonic wave, magnetic field, and supercritical fluid extraction technology has attracted people’s attention. These aspects of research are likely to bring amazing effects, further promoting the application of supercritical fluid extraction technology in the flavor and fragrance industry.