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'Green' chemistry extraction method developed for hot capsicum fruit
Date:1/18/2011

lternative and environmentally sound, "green" extraction protocols could be developed to replace the use of hexane as a solvent for oleoresin production. This would improve the environmental risks for the isolation of red pigments from Capsicum fruit."

The "green" extraction method includes a process that separates the pigments from the capsaicinoids, an important step which the researchers say increases the flexibility of the process to allow a variety of red Capsicum fruit to be used easily for pigment production. The authors noted that this step in the process is critical, as it allows the pigment industry and Capsicum farmers to use virtually any variety of chile regardless of heat level for pigment production. "Pungent chiles with high American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) values could be grown for either food/spice uses or pigment production", they remarked.

The researchers added that since growers may rely on mechanical harvest of chiles in the future, contamination of the red fruit with stems and leaves may become higher with mechanical harvesting than in hand harvesting. They observed that the type of supercritical fluid extraction method presented in this study provides an advantage for red fruit harvests mixed with leaf material because it reduces the amount of chlorophyll that contaminates the carotenoid pigment extracts as compared with a hexane extract.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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