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Publication Title | Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) Technologies from IIT Bombay

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Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) Technologies from IIT Bombay:

Potential of SCFE:

Worldwide, Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) Technology has emerged as a superior alternative to the conventional techniques for extraction of natural products in food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. India with its rich botanical resources has very high potential for the use of SCFE to achieve value addition to its traditional export of natural materials in raw form. Thus use of SCFE technology can help Indian industry to gain its share in rapidly growing international market for high quality, value added natural products.

Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) Technology, indigenously developed by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB) has been successfully commercialized. IIT Bombay is presently equipped to help the user industry through 'Concept to Commissioning' of their ventures in the field of Supercritical Fluid Extraction.

Applications developed at IIT Bombay (in the arena of natural products) include:

• Decaffeination (coffee & tea)

• Hop extracts (bitter)

• Spice extracts (oil & oleoresin)

• Flavours & fragrances

• Food colours

• Food preservatives

• Herbal medicines

• Pesticides (neem)

• Deoiling of fast foods

• Cholesterol free food products

• Nicotine / tar free tobacco Challenges:

Compared to traditional extraction technologies, SCFE is comparatively more capital- intensive due to the requirements of high pressure operation (100-500 bar) and very accurate process control. But more importantly, the high premium charged by foreign equipment / service providers based on novelty of this technology substantially increases costs of SCFE plants, making the imported SCFE technology economically non-viable in

developing countries like India. These are primarily the reasons why although SCFE has

Supercritical Fluid Extraction Technologies from IIT Bombay / October 2009 1

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