Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Aydin K. Sunol, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sermin Sunol, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Doug Shytle, Ph.D.


extraction, high pressure, co‐solvent, carbon dioxide, ethanol, blueberries, cranberries


Routine consumption of blueberries and cranberries has been shown to have great health benefits. Blueberries have high amounts of anthocyanin content per serving. Anthocyanins are known to be powerful antioxidants and are linked to the reduction of heart disease and cancer. New research suggests that the berries may also play a role in slowing down age related diseases such as memory loss and tissue damage caused by Alzheimer's. In addition the berries have a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health. Cranberries have long been used to treat urinary tract infections due to the high composition of benzoic and other acids. Both types of berries are rich in vitamin A and retinoids which have been linked to reducing certain cancers such as colon, lung and breast cancer in addition to the benefits they encompass for maintenance of eyesight. The health benefits associated with the components in the berries make them an attractive choice for extracting desirable active ingredients.

A dynamic high pressure extraction setup that consisted of an extractor and a collection vessel maintained at high pressure using back pressure regulators was built to extract active components from the berry powders using supercritical CO2 and an entrainer (ethanol) in order to increase the solvating power of the supercritical fluid. Experiments were done at temperatures ranging from 42°C to 50°C and pressures up to 197 bars; extracts were analyzed using a gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer (GC/MS). Successfully extracted desirable components included important vitamins such as vitamin A and biotin. Furthermore useful acids such as ricinoleic acid, palmitic acid, benzoic acid and the omega-9 acids oleic acid as well as octadecanoic acids were extracted. In addition to the desired active ingredients extracted, at the operating conditions chosen, some pesticides and insecticides that were present in the initial fruit powders were also extracted.