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Recent advances and comparisons of conventional and alternative extraction techniques of phenolic compounds


Phenolic compounds are a group of secondary metabolites produced by plants under stressful conditions. Phenolic compounds play an important role in the prevention and treatment of certain illnesses and are exploited by the food and pharmaceutical industries. Conventional methods are commonly used as models to compare the efficiencies of alternative extraction methods. Among alternative extraction processes, microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) are the most studied. These methods produce extracts rich in phenolic compounds using moderate temperatures, short extraction times, and solvents generally recognized as safe. The combination of extraction time and temperature plays a critical role in the stability of the compounds. Solvents of higher polarity enhance the extraction of phenolic compounds. The use of the ethanol–water mixture for MAE, PLE, and UAE is recommended. MAE and UAE involve shorter extraction times than do PLE and SFE. SFE requires a low average temperature (40 °C). MAE produces the highest total phenolic content [227.63 mg GAE/g dry basis (d.b.)], followed by PLE (173.65 mg GAE/g d.b.), UAE (92.99 mg GAE/g d.b.) and SFE (37 mg GAE/g d.b.). Extraction yields and recovery rates of the phenolic compounds can be enhanced by combining and integrating extraction methods.

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Correspondence to J. Felipe Osorio-Tobón.

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Osorio-Tobón, J.F. Recent advances and comparisons of conventional and alternative extraction techniques of phenolic compounds. J Food Sci Technol 57, 4299–4315 (2020).

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  • Phenolic compounds
  • Conventional extraction methods
  • Alternative extraction methods
  • Process parameters
  • Process integration