The macadamia is native to Australia and is now grown commercially around the world. Macadamia skin, known as waste, has been generated abundantly, but this ample source has had limited uses as a byproduct. The aim of this study was to develop optimal aqueous extraction conditions for the recovery of phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties from macadamia skin using Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Water was selected for optimizing the extraction conditions because it is a cheap, safe, and environmentally friendly solvent. The results showed that the RSM models were reliable for the prediction and evaluation of the tested variables. Within the tested ranges, temperature (°C), time (min), and sample-to-solvent ratio (g/100 mL), and their interactions, did not significantly affect phenolic compound (TPC), flavonoid, proanthocyanidin, CUPRAC, and FRAP contents. However, the time and the sample-to-solvent ratio significantly affected DPPH antioxidant activity and the ratio significantly affected ABTS antioxidant capacity. The optimal extraction conditions for the recovery of phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties were predicted and validated at a temperature of 90 °C, a time of 20 min, and a sample-to-solvent ratio of 5 g/100 mL. At these conditions, an extract with TPC of 86 mg GAE/g, flavonoids of 30 mg RUE/g, and proanthocyanidins of 97 mg CAE/g could be prepared with potent antioxidant capacity.
Keywords: macadamia; optimization; response surface methodology; waste.