Lutein is a dietary oxycarotenoid which is found to reduce the risks of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Supercritical fluid extraction of lutein esters from marigold petals was carried out and was found to be much effective than conventional solvent extraction. The saponification of pre-concentrated lutein esters to produce free lutein was studied which showed a composition of about 88% total carotenoids (UV-VIS spectrophotometry) and 90.7% lutein (HPLC). The lipase catalyzed hydrolysis of lutein esters in conventional medium was investigated. The optimal temperature, pH, enzyme concentration and water activity were found to be 50°C, 7, 15% and 0.33 respectively and the activity loss of lipase was about 25% after 8 times re-use at 50°C for 12 days. However, the lipase catalyzed hydrolysis of lutein esters in conventional media resulted in poor conversions (38.7%).
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