Microemulsion technologies for the extraction and delivery of herbal oils and oleoresins

Herbal oils and oleoresins are components extracted from flowers, bark, leaves, roots, or fruits. These extracts are used as fragrances, flavoring agents, antimicrobials, and therapeutic agents with a market value of more than USD 8.5 billion and 7% annual growth. Steam and solvents are used to extract oils and oleoresins (respectively), but they have limited extraction efficiency, are energy-intensive, and emit greenhouse gases (GHG). Solvent extraction can also emit volatile organic components (VOCs) and produce flammable environments. This project seeks to develop aqueous extraction and delivery systems for herbal oils and oleoresins using food-grade surfactants and emulsified solvents. The example herbal oil, clove oil, and oleoresin, capsaicin, are both used as flavoring agents, as antimicrobials, and as medicinal compounds. Micellae delivery systems (partner organization) will use the findings from this work to develop a safe aqueous extraction process and delivery systems for cannabinoids.

Faculty Supervisor:

Edgar Acosta


Jia Xia Tan


Micellae Delivery Systems


Engineering - chemical / biological


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Toronto



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