Eco-Friendly Extraction of Pectin and Essential Oils from Orange and Lemon Peels

Pectin and d-limonene were extracted from waste orange and lemon peel by an innovative eco-friendly process using only water as dispersing medium and microwaves as energy source. Both bioproducts were characterized by diffuse reflectance infrared (DRIFT) spectroscopy, and the pectin samples also by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). For pectin and essential oils extracted from waste lemon peel, the results obtained at laboratory and semi-industrial scales are compared. The high yields obtained, the quality of the bioproducts and the environmental viability of the process support forthcoming commercialization of the technology.