Brazil is one of the largest cocoa producer in the world and, consequently, one of the largest producer of cocoa shell. The cocoa shell is removed before or after seed roasting; it is considered a by-product of the cocoa industry and are often treated as waste. Some studies and patents have been developed in order to give a noblest destiny to this material, since it is a raw material nutritionally interesting. In addition to their nutritional value due to the presence of a series of biocompounds, including proanthocyanidins that have antioxidant activity and health benefits, cocoa shell also has a significant content of fat with a lipid profile similar to cocoa butter. The cocoa shell has an amount of proteins similar to the nibs and a level of fiber three times greater, indicating that both, the fat and defatted solid of this material, may have high value nutritional, technological and economic. Traditionally the extraction of vegetable oils and fats is done with organic solvents, and the hexane is the most used, but this proposal aims to replace this traditional solvent by short-chain alcohols, ethanol and / or isopropanol, since they have some advantages over hexane among them we can highlight its technological, economic and environmental security and ease of recovery after the extraction process, a fact due to the partial miscibility between oil and solvent at room temperature. Extraction tests will be performed to determine optimum conditions such as temperature, pressure, solvent hydration and solvent:solid ratio. The experiments will be done in extractors operating at atmospheric pressure and extractors using pressurized liquid, PLE (Pressurized liquid extraction), since the latter technique has been shown to be faster and has shown better results in terms of yield. Finally, both, the lipid fraction and the defatted material, obtained after processing will be evaluated physico-chemically and the nutritionally, and will have the levels of mycotoxins determined to evaluate the quality of the products such as food matrix. In fact, the objective of the development of this project is not only the technical feasibility of the use of alternative solvents in the vegetable oil industry, but also the minimization of waste from the cocoa industry by adding value to cocoa shell. It is important to emphasize that this doctoral thesis project is included in the scope of research allowance funded by FAPESP (2014 / 09446-4), coordinated by the advisor of this proposal.
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