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The potential of using the bio-based solvent 2-methyloxolane, also known as 2-methyltetrahydrofuran or 2-MeTHF, as an alternative to petroleum solvents such as hexane, was investigated for the extraction of volatile compounds from hop cones (Humulus lupulus L.). Lab scale extractions were coupled with in silico prediction of solutes solubility to assess the technical potential of this bio-based solvent. The predictive approach was performed using the simulation software COSMO-RS (conductor like screening model for real solvants) and showed that the 2-methyloxolane is as good as or better than hexane to solubilize the majority of aromas from hop cones. The experimental results indicated that the highest aroma yield was obtained with 2-methyloxolane with 20.2% while n-hexane was only able to extract 17.9%. The characterization of aromas extracted by the two solvents showed a similar composition, where lupulone was the main component followed by humulone. No selectivity of the solvents was observed for any of the major analytes. Finally, a sensory analysis was performed on the extracts, showing that both concretes using 2-methyloxolane and hexane have similar olfactory profiles. The results indicate that 2-methyloxolane could be a promising bio-based extraction solvent for hexane substitution.


Vincent Rapinel, Aziadé Chemat, Cyrille Santerre, Justine Belay, Farnaz Hanaei, Nadine Vallet, Laurence Jacques, Anne-Sylvie Fabiano-Tixier. 2-Methyloxolane as a Bio-Based Solvent for Green Extraction of Aromas from Hops (Humulus lupulus L.). Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Apr 09;25(7)

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PMID: 32283752

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