The aim of this study was to optimize the antioxidant activity of Piper nigrum L. essential oil extracted using the supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO₂) technique. Response surface methodology was applied using a three-factor central composite design to evaluate the effects of three independent extraction variables: pressure of 15-30 MPa, temperature of 40-50 °C and dynamic extraction time of 40-80 min. The DPPH radical scavenging method was used to evaluate the antioxidant activity of the extracts. The results showed that the best antioxidant activity was achieved at 30 MPa, 40 °C and 40 min. The extracts were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. The main components extracted using SC-CO₂ extraction in optimum conditions were β-caryophyllene (25.38 ± 0.62%), limonene (15.64 ± 0.15%), sabinene (13.63 ± 0.21%), 3-carene (9.34 ± 0.04%), β-pinene (7.27 ± 0.05%), and α-pinene (4.25 ± 0.06%). The essential oil obtained through this technique was compared with the essential oil obtained using hydro-distillation. For the essential oil obtained by hydro-distillation, the most abundant compounds were β-caryophyllene (18.64 ± 0.84%), limonene (14.95 ± 0.13%), sabinene (13.19 ± 0.17%), 3-carene (8.56 ± 0.11%), β-pinene (9.71 ± 0.12%), and α-pinene (7.96 ± 0.14%). Radical scavenging activity of the extracts obtained by SC-CO₂ and hydro-distillation showed an EC₅₀ of 103.28 and 316.27 µg mL(-1) respectively.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.