Extraction with supercritical fluids arises in the last three decades as a promising alternative to conventional
analytical methods for lipid extraction, and currently has consolidated its application in extraction processes of raw materials
of animal and plant origin. Its advantages over conventional techniques are many and well known, but this technology
stands out mainly by environmental factors and quality of products. This article reviews the aspects related to the use
of supercritical CO2 for extraction and fractionation of lipids, with special emphasis in triacylglycerols and fatty acids,
and summarizes the published literature with the use of SFE to obtain fats and oils with particular interest in the application
of the extracts in food products. In this context, marine animals and oilseeds are the most studied raw materials for
lipid extraction. A brief review on the separation procedures involving supercritical technology, as supercritical fluid
chromatography, is also presented, dealing with separation methods as analytical techniques, or even as fractionation and
purification tools. As shown in this paper, natural sources of lipids are abundant and diverse, supercritical CO2 has large
potential to be a viable method to extract and purify those substances.
Keywords: Carbon dioxide, extraction, fatty acids, lipids, separation process, supercritical fluids.
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