This research proposal is focus on the integration of different high-pressure CO2-based processes: extraction / fractionation with CO2-assisted impregnation of polymers.
Two case studies, with a high potential for commercial application as nutraceuticals (according to preliminary studies carried out at the host laboratory) will be addressed:
- Coenzyme Q10 extraction from tobacco leaves and encapsulation in polyethyleneglycols. Coenzyme Q10 play an important role in cell respiration, electron transfer, ATP production, and modulation of oxidative reactions acting as antioxidant. It is actually synthesized and used for cosmetics or medicinal purposes.
- Policosanol extraction from sugar cane molasses and impregnation of lipidic matrices. Policosanols are also widely used as nutraceuticals due to their beneficial properties as cholesterol and triglyceride lowering compounds.
Firstly (as WP 1), Coenzyme Q10 and precursor molecules, such as solanesol will be extracted from tobacco leaves and separated (concomitant with extraction) from nicotine. Purified extracts will be encapsulated in polyethylene glycol.
Secondly (WP 2), hydroalcoholic extractions of policosanols from sugar-cane molasses will be performed followed by fractionation in counter current CO2 columns and impregnation of lipidic solids.
The final step will be common and up scaled for both 1 and 2 processes (WP3), namely the incorporation of both type of extracts into melts and particle formation by rapid expansion (pilot plant scale).
Therefore, extraction and impregnation or encapsulation would be performed in a continuous way (GRAS, no CO2 disrupted to the atmosphere, no use of organic solvents).
This means that the developed process might substitute the tedious, chemical- and time-consuming protocols utilized nowadays.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call