Extraction and Characterization of Lipids from Antarctic Krill (< i> Euphausia superba)

Document Type


Publication Date






Publication Title

Food Chemistry


Krill oil, Oil extraction, Fatty acid profile, Lipid composition, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, Nutraceutical food products, Functional food

Subject Categories



There is significant commercial interest in oil extraction from krill because it is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA, 20:5n3) and docosahexaenoic (DHA, 22:6n3) acids. The objectives were to determine oil extraction efficiency using different solvent systems and the composition of extracted oil and spent krill following extraction. Extraction efficiency was the highest (P < 0.05) for one-step extraction using freeze-dried krill with 1:12 or 1:30 krill:solvent ratio (w:v) compared to Folch, Soxhlet, and conventional two-step extraction. Extracted oils contained predominantly phospholipids (20–33%), polar non-phospholipids (64–77%), and minor triglycerides (1–3%). Triglycerides contained much less (P < 0.05) total n-3 (4.0%), DHA (1.1%), and EPA (2.3%), but more (P < 0.05) saturated FA (38.7%) than phospholipids (total n-3-47.4%, DHA-18.0%, EPA-28.2%, saturated FA-23.5%). Antioxidant capacity of krill oil extracted by one-step extraction (9.4–14.2 μmol Trolox Equivalents/ml oil) was generally similar to antioxidant capacity of krill oil extracted by ethanol (22.9), but greater (P < 0.05) than antioxidant capacity of krill oil extracted by acetone (1.2) and Folch method (1.5). The spent krill following oil extraction contained protein (72.9–75.8%, dry basis). Based on the extraction efficiency and composition of the extracted oil, the one-step extraction using 1:12 krill:solvent ratio is recommended.