In this work, aqueous extraction of rice bran oil was done without and with ultrasound pretreatment. Key factors controlling the extraction and optimal operating conditions were identified. The highest extraction efficiency was found at pH = 12, temperature of 45 °C, agitation speed of 800 rpm and agitation time of 15 min, ultrasound treatment time of 70 min and ultrasound treatment temperature of 25 °C. Moreover, extraction yields were compared to ultrasound-assisted aqueous extraction and Soxhlet extraction. The results showed that the yield of rice bran oil at ultrasound-assisted aqueous extraction was close to the yield of oil extracted by hexane Soxhlet extraction. This result implied that the yield of rice bran oil was significantly influenced by ultrasound. With regard to quality, the oil extracted by ultrasound-assisted aqueous process had a lower content of free fatty acid and lower color imparting components than the hexane-extracted oil. Also, effect of parboiling of paddy on hexane and ultrasound-assisted aqueous extraction was studied. Both extraction methods gives higher percentage of oil from par boiled rice bran compared with raw rice bran. This may be due to the fact that parboiling releases the oil.
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