Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Lovastatin from the Wheat Bran Obtained after Solid-State Fermentation 

Ruchir C. Pansuriya and Rekha S. Singhal*

Food Engineering and Technology Department, Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, Matunga (E), IN-400 019 Mumbai, India

Article history:

Received August 6, 2008
Accepted February 4, 2009

Key words:

supercritical CO2 extraction, solid-state fermentation, lovastatin, Aspergillus terreus


The objective of the present work is to extract lovastatin with minimum impurity by using supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2). A strain of Aspergillus terreus UV 1617 was used to produce lovastatin by solid-state fermentation (SSF) on wheat bran as a solid substrate. Extraction of lovastatin and its hydroxy acid form was initially carried out using organic solvents. Among the different screened solvents, acetonitrile was found to be the most efficient. SC-CO2 was used for extraction of lovastatin from the dry fermented matter. The effect of supercritical extraction parameters such as the amount of an in situ pretreatment solvent, temperature, pressure, flow rate and contact time were investigated. The maximum recovery of lovastatin was obtained with 5 mL of methanol as an in situ pretreatment solvent for 1.5 g of solid matrix, flow rate of the supercritical solvent 2 L/min, temperature 50 °C, and contact time 155 min at a pressure 300 bar. The lovastatin extract obtained after optimizing the conditions of supercritical fluid extraction was found to have 5-fold more HPLC purity than the organic solvent extract.


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