Introduction: Herbal foods possess significant amounts of essential bioactive nutrients and
offer clinical and therapeutic benefits. The aim of present research was to compare the antioxidant potential
of black cumin extracts obtained using different extraction modes.
Materials and Methods: Three solvents (methanol, acetone and hexane) were employed at different
time intervals and ratios. However, supercritical fluid extracts (SFE) were obtained at varying pressures
(5500, 6500 and 7500 psi).
Results: Outcomes revealed that total phenolics were maximum in methanolic extract (790.79±31.67
mg GAE/100 g) at 50 min. Similarly, DPPH and FRAP activity of methanolic extract was also better
than other extracts as 80.99±4.02% and 27.44±0.88 mg TE/g, respectively. HPLC quantification exhibited
that highest recovery of major bioactive component (thymoquinone) was obtained via supercritical
extraction (12.38 mg/g) at 7500 psi.
Conclusions: It is concluded that Pakistani variety of black cumin possess appreciable antioxidant activity
which directly depends upon the extraction conditions. Among conventional solvents, methanol
was evidenced to be more efficient. However, supercritical fluid extracts have proved a reliable mean
for the extraction of thymoquinone.