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An Improved Process for Production of Natural Carotene

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
20000 NW Walker Rd Beaverton, OR -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: An Improved Process for Production of Natural Carotene
Agency: USDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $215,000.00


Beta-Carotene is widely used in the food industry as a food colorant and vitamin supplement, and it is rapidly gaining popularity for its reported anti-cancer potency. Medical studies indicates that Beta-carotene is preventative and sometimes terapeutic against malignant tumors, lung cancer, colon cancer, esophagus cancer, and skin cancer. It is the focus of this proposal to develop a new separation process for recovery of natural carotene from carotene-containing vegetable oils such as palm oil. Conventional methods for this separation include liquid/liquid extraction, liquid chromatography, and packed-bed adsorption. Conventional liquid/liquid extraction is undesirable because of the tendency to form stable emulsions--leading to loss of solvents and expensive waste treatment. Chromatography and packed-bed processes have problems of bed compression and high pressure drops. The process that we propose to develop utilizes a highly selective carotene-complexing agent in a membrane-extraction process. This process promises to be superior to conventional technology because it allows emulsion-free liquid/liquid extraction. In addition, the proprietary complexing agent promises to have very high selectivity and capacity for this separation. In Phase I our goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of the novel approach for recovery of natural carotene from palm oil. We will characterize the process with respect to operating variables, and we will produce sufficient natural carotene from palm oil to allow extensive chemical testing.

Principal Investigator:


Business Contact:

Mr. Daniel J. Brose
Small Business Information at Submission:

Chemica Technologies
20340 Empire Ave., Suite E-9 Bend, OR 97701

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No