Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering
On-line version ISSN 0104-6632
LUCAS, S. and COCERO, M. J.. Improvement of soluble coffee aroma using an integrated process of supercritical CO2 extraction with selective removal of the pungent volatiles by adsorption on activates carbon. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2006, vol.23, n.2, pp. 197-203. ISSN 0104-6632. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-66322006000200006.
In this paper a two-step integrated process consisting of CO2 supercritical extraction of volatile coffee compounds (the most valuable) from roasted and milled coffee, and a subsequent step of selective removal of pungent volatiles by adsorption on activated carbon is presented. Some experiments were carried out with key compounds from roasted coffee aroma in order to study the adsorption step: ethyl acetate as a desirable compound and furfural as a pungent component. Operational parameters such as adsorption pressure and temperature and CO2 flowrate were optimized. Experiments were conducted at adsorption pressures of 12-17 MPa, adsorption temperatures of 35-50ºC and a solvent flow rate of 3-5 kg/h. In all cases, the solute concentration and the activated particle size were kept constant. Results show that low pressures (12 MPa), low temperatures (35ºC) and low CO2 flowrates (3 kg/h) are suitable for removing the undesirable pungent and smell components (e.g. furfural) and retaining the desirable aroma compounds (e.g. ethyl acetate). The later operation with real roasted coffee has corroborated the previous results obtained with the key compounds.
Keywords : Coffee aroma; Supercritical extraction; Supercritical adsorption; Activated carbon; Supercritical CO2.