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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 3164312, 16 pages
Review Article

Carotenoids Functionality, Sources, and Processing by Supercritical Technology: A Review

EQA-CTC/UFSC, Chemical and Food Engineering Department, Federal University of Santa Catarina, CP 476, 88040-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

Received 30 November 2015; Revised 25 January 2016; Accepted 3 February 2016

Academic Editor: Artur M. S. Silva

Copyright © 2016 Natália Mezzomo and Sandra R. S. Ferreira. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Carotenoid is a group of pigments naturally present in vegetal raw materials that have biological properties. These pigments have been used mainly in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. Currently, the industrial production is executed through chemical synthesis, but natural alternatives of carotenoid production/attainment are in development. The carotenoid extraction occurs generally with vegetal oil and organic solvents, but supercritical technology is an alternative technique to the recovery of these compounds, presenting many advantages when compared to conventional process. Brazil has an ample diversity of vegetal sources inadequately investigated and, then, a major development of optimization and validation of carotenoid production/attainment methods is necessary, so that the benefits of these pigments can be delivered to the consumer.