Rosemary residue, remaining after the distillation of essential oil, is currently unexploited, while it is a source of phenolic antioxidant components. This raw material was used for the extraction of phenolic compounds by aqueous ethanol or acetone in a continuously stirred reactor. The experimental results were fitted with a two-stage diffusion model. The highest extraction rates, total phenolic content (TPC) recovery, and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging capacity were obtained by acetone 60% and ethanol 60%. Grinding of the raw material enhanced the extraction rate and increased TPC yield and antioxidant capacity as the particle size decreased. Pre-treatment by maceration in water (4 h) dissolved a high amount of TPC and shortened the extraction time, while the combination with the pulsed electric field process did not provide further improvement. The use of ultrasound increased the efficiency of the extraction.
Keywords: UAE; kinetics; phenolics; rosemary; solvent extraction.