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capsanthin and chili oil supercritical co2 extraction

Capsanthin supercritical CO Extraction

In 2018, we produced a supercritical CO2 extraction machine for capsanthin extraction in response to customer requirements, using supercritical extraction + fractionation technology to extract capsanthin and capsicum oil at the same time.

The test was carried out during the acceptance of the equipment, and the test product is as shown in the picture.
It is a pity that we did not get the chemical test report of the tested product.

Supercritical CO2 extraction technology is a new type of high-efficiency separation technology for separation of supercritical fluids with excellent dissolution and mass transfer characteristics. It can be used for the extraction and separation of capsaicin.

Oleoresin capsicum vs. Paprika extract

Oleoresin capsicum
Supercritical CO2 extraction of capsicum oleoresin

(3.0- 8.0 % capsaicin w/w) obtained from the longer, moderately pungent Capsicum used in the production of red pepper. Commercial red pepper oleoresins are mainly used as a spice supplied in pungency ratings between 80 000 and 500 000 Scoville units. In the market place practice has shown that 1 kg of 200 000 Scoville units oleoresin replaces 10 kg of good quality red pepper.

Paprika extract

(3.0- 8.0 % capsaicin w/w) obtained from the longer, moderately pungent Capsicum used in the production of red (equivalent to 10.8% total carotenoids) obtained from varieties of C. annuum from which paprika powder is produced. It has a high colour value, but little or no pungency. Commercial paprika oleoresin is available in different colour strengths up to 150 000 colour units. In the market place practice has shown that 1 kg of paprika extract replaces 12-15 kg of paprika powder with respect to colour intensity.  

Further reading

The following article is about the supercritical extraction of capsaicin, which comes from a paper by a Chinese university. Although they did not use our fractionation technology, I still hope it can help readers.


Chili peppers can grow in different soils and climates. Countries such as China, India, and Mexico are all world-famous pepper producing areas.

Pepper contains many effective ingredients, including capsaicin, capsaicin, vitamins, organic acids and other ingredients.
As the main component of a natural red pigment, capsaicin is currently the optimization red pigment recognized internationally. As a green product, it can be used in food, cosmetics, beverages and medicine industries.
Capsaicin is insoluble in water and easily soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol and n-hexane. Therefore, the traditional process generally uses organic solvent method for extraction. However, the residual amount of organic solvent in the capsaicin extracted by solvent method is usually higher, which makes the product The application of is greatly restricted.

Since the existing pigment extraction technology uses dried red pepper as the raw material, most of them are limited to the research of preparing capsanthin by a single solvent method or a supercritical method, and the quality of the obtained pigment product still has a large room for improvement.

The optimization co2 extraction process of capsaicin and capsanthin

The color value and yield of the capsicum red pigment obtained by the supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method are both greater than the two indicators obtained by the solvent method.Environmentally friendly and other advantages.

Through the comprehensive analysis of the orthogonal experiment results of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction of capsaicin and capsicum,the appropriate operating conditions are determined as follows:the crushing degree of the raw pepper is 40~80 mesh,the extraction pressure is 20MPa;the extraction temperature is 40℃.

The separation pressure is 10MPa,the separation temperature is 50℃,the flow of CO2 fluid is 20Lh;the extraction time is 3h.Under this process condition,the color value of capsanthin obtained in the experiment was 227.15,the yield of capsanthin was 954%,the content of capsaicin was 1475%,and the yield of capsaicin was 3.19%.

The stability of capsanthin can be improved by adding a certain amount of pepper seed extract.When the amount of capsicum seed extract added to capsanthin was 1mg·g-1,the stability of capsanthin was significantly improved,and its color value residue rate was 9%higher than that without adding the extract.

CO2 extraction method VS solvent method

In the experiment of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction of capsanthin and capsaicin,the effect of various factors on the color value,yield,and capsaicin content and yield of capsanthin is in the order of extraction pressure>benzene extraction temperature>separation pressure>CO2 fluid flow

Capsicum red pigment obtained by supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method and solvent method has excellent light resistance,heat resistance and reduction resistance,and is suitable for use under neutral conditions.Oxidants and Fe2+,Cu2+have a greater impact on the stability of capsicum red pigment,while Fe3+has little effect on its stability

The light stability experiment of capsanthin obtained by supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method and solvent method shows that after 6 days,the color value loss rate of capsanthin obtained by the CO2 method is 12.90%, and the color value loss rate of capsanthin obtained by the solvent method is 21.68%.

It can be concluded that the color value loss rate of capsicum pigment obtained by supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method is 40.50%less than that obtained by solvent method. Indicating that the light stability of capsaicin pigment obtained by supercritical CO2 fluid extraction method is better than that obtained by solvent method.