Cuticular waxes can be used in high-value applications, including cosmetics, foods and nutraceuticals, among the others. The extraction process determines their quality and purity that are of particular interest when biocompatibility, biodegradability, flavor and fragrance are the main fea-tures required for the final formulations. This study demonstrated that supercritical fluid extraction coupled with fractional separation can represent a suitable alternative to isolate cuticular waxes from vegetable matter that preserve their natural properties and composition, without contamination of organic solvent residues. Operating in this way, cuticular waxes can be considered as a fingerprint of the vegetable matter, where C27, C29 and C31 are the most abundant compounds that characterize the material; the differences are mainly due to their relative proportions and the presence of hydrocarbon compounds possessing other functional groups, such as alcohols, aldehydes or acids. Therefore, selec-tivity of supercritical fluid extraction towards non-polar or slightly polar compounds opens the way for a possible industrial approach to produce extracts that do not require further purification steps.
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