Separation of astaxanthin from red yeast Phaffia rhodozyma by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction

Gio Bin Lim, Sang Yun Lee, Eun Kyu Lee, Seung Joo Haam, Woo Sik Kim

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116 Citations (Scopus)


The supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) behavior was investigated to extract astaxanthin from the red yeast Phaffia rhodozyma, which was disrupted and dried by bead mill and spray dryer, respectively. The effects of extraction pressure (102-500 bar), temperature (40, 60 and 80 °C), CO2 flow rate (superficial velocities of 0.27 and 0.54 cm/min) and the use of ethyl alcohol as a modifier (1, 5, 10, 15 vol.%) on the extraction efficiency were determined. The highest yield of carotenoids and astaxanthin with equal amounts of CO2 (50 g) was 84 and 90%, respectively, at 40 °C and 500 bar. Using a two-step pressure gradient operation, on changing the pressure from 300 to 500 bar, the concentration of astaxanthin in the second fraction at 500 bar increased by about 4 and 10 times at 40 and 60 °C, respectively, and the concentration of carotenoids increased by about 3.6 times at 40 °C and 13 times at 60 °C with the yield decreasing by about 40-50%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sep

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Program for Clean Production Technology of Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy of Korea and Center for Environmental and Clean Technologies—Regional Research Center sponsored by MOST and KOSEF of Korea. The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance and support of Hyun-Kuk Kim at Hanyang University as well as Hyun-Ok Jo and Eun-Kyung Nam at C.S. Eng.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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