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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Oct 6;52(20):6278-82.

Comparative analysis of the oil and supercritical CO2 extract of Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato, SS 554, km 4,500, 09042 Cagliari, Italy.


The volatile oil of Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton seeds was obtained by supercritical CO(2) extraction (SC-CO(2)). The effect of the extraction conditions on the yield and composition of the resulting cardamom volatile oil was examined by testing two pressure values, 9.0 and 11.0 MPa; two temperatures, 40 and 50 degrees C; two flow rate values, 0.6 and 1.2 kg/h; and two particles size values, 250-425 and >850 microm. The extraction conditions that gave the highest yield, Y (grams of extract per gram of seeds), of 5.5%, were as follows: pressure, 9.0 MPa; temperature, 40 degrees C; carbon dioxide flow, phi = 1.2 kg/h; and particles sizes in the range of 250-425 microm. Waxes, recovered as traces, were entrapped in the first separator set at 9.0 MPa and -10 degrees C. The oil was recovered in the second separator working at 1.5 MPa and 10 degrees C. The main components were as follows: alpha-terpinyl acetate, 42.3%; 1,8-cineole, 21.4%; linalyl acetate, 8.2%; limonene, 5.6%; and linalool, 5.4%. A comparison with the hydrodistilled oil, obtained at a yield of 5.0%, did not reveal any consistent difference. In contrast, the extract obtained using hexane, Y = 7.6%, showed strong composition differences. Indeed, the volatile fraction of the extract was made up mainly of the following: limonene, 36.4%; 1,8-cineole, 23.5%; terpinolene, 8.6%; and myrcene, 6.6%.

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