Document Type : Full Research Paper


1 Department of Food Science & Technology, College of Food Technology, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

2 Department of Fisheries, Bandar Abbas Islamic Azad University, Bandar Abbas, Iran


 Astaxanthin is a widely used carotenoid pigment in the food industry which is extracted from various natural and synthetic sources. Nowadays, due to the adverse effects of organic solvents green solvents which are non-toxic, non-volatile and environmentally friendly have been proposed. Therefore, this study focuses on comparison of the extraction of astaxanthin from shrimp (Fenneropenaeus merguiensis) and Gammarus (Pontogammarus maeoticus) under soaking conditions for 24 hours with organic solvent (combination of ethanol with ethyl acetate), green solvent (microemulsion of ionic liquid in water) and vegetable oil (sunflower oil). Ionic liquid microemulsion in water is considered a newnovel solvent for astaxanthin extraction. Determination of density, conductivity and diameter were the characteristics of microemulsion test. In extraction,Solvent to sample ratios of 5x, 12.5x and 20x were used for the extraction and compared with the control sample.
Materials and Methods

merguiensis and P. maeoticus With species approval were procured from Persian Gulf Ecology Research Institute (Iran). Commercial astaxanthin (>98 % purity), α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) were procured from Sigma-Aldrich (USA). The HPLC grade ethanol, propanol, ethyl acetate,, tributyl octyl phosphonium bromide, Triton X-100, and n-butanol were obtained from Merck Chemicals Co. (Germany). Refined sunflower oil which was antioxidant-free, was also purchased from Hayat Company (Iran). The shell of F. merguiensis and P. maeoticus were carefully washed with distilled water, then freeze-dried (Christ-Alpha 1–4, LD freeze dryer, Germany) for 48 h at -50 °C. After sieving the powders with a laboratory sieve with a mesh smaller than 15 µm. The obtained powders were kept at Refrigerator. All experiments were done in the Food and Drug Administration Department of Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences.

Results and Discussion
 According to the results, the density of the microemulsion was determined in the range of 0.97151 g/cm3, its diameter was 15.8 nanometers and the conductivity was 312 microsiemens at 27.1°C. The results of astaxanthin extraction with different solvents in the comparison with control solvent were statistically significant (p< 0.05). According to the results obtained from the extraction of astaxanthin from two sources of shrimp and gammarus, shrimp was selected as the source with the highest amount of extracted astaxanthin. The use of green solvent (ionic liquid microemulsion in water) in a ratio of 12.5 times solvent to sample was also chosen as the optimal method. The amount of astaxanthin extracted under optimal conditions was 77.44 ± 1.09 mg/ml. The results of DPPH radical inhibition by extracted astaxanthin using ionic, oily and organic solvents compared to synthetic antioxidant BHT showed that the antioxidant activity increased with increasing the concentration of astaxanthin, but this increase was always lower than BHT.
In general, the results of this research show that the use of microemulsion based on ionic liquids is a suitable alternative to conventional methods in extracting and recovering astaxanthin from natural biological sources.
We are grateful to the Honorable Vice-Chancellor of Hormozgan Food and Drug Administration for the help in using the Hormozgan Food and Drug Laboratory to conduct the experiments of this doctoral thesis.



Main Subjects

©2023 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source.

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