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Extraction Methods of Oils and Phytochemicals from Seeds and Their Environmental and Economic Impacts

2021-10-16 , Lavenburg, Valerie M. , Jung, Stephanie , Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering , Food Science and Human Nutrition , Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture , Center for Crops Utilization Research , Biorenewable Resources and Technology , Environmental Science

Over recent years, the food industry has striven to reduce waste, mostly because of rising awareness of the detrimental environmental impacts of food waste. While the edible oils market (mostly represented by soybean oil) is forecasted to reach 632 million tons by 2022, there is increasing interest to produce non-soybean, plant-based oils including, but not limited to, coconut, flaxseed and hemp seed. Expeller pressing and organic solvent extractions are common methods for oil extraction in the food industry. However, these two methods come with some concerns, such as lower yields for expeller pressing and environmental concerns for organic solvents. Meanwhile, supercritical CO2 and enzyme-assisted extractions are recognized as green alternatives, but their practicality and economic feasibility are questioned. Finding the right balance between oil extraction and phytochemical yields and environmental and economic impacts is challenging. This review explores the advantages and disadvantages of various extraction methods from an economic, environmental and practical standpoint. The novelty of this work is how it emphasizes the valorization of seed by-products, as well as the discussion on life cycle, environmental and techno-economic analyses of oil extraction methods.