Utilization of Crude Palm Oil Waste to Produce Squalene

  • Nur Ratih Kusumaningayu Yusuf
  • Evita H. Legowo
  • Hery Sutanto
Keywords: Palm Fatty Acid Distillate, Squalene, Antioxidant Activity, Saponification, Liquid Liquid Extraction


Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. The increasing demand of palm
oil production generates a large amount of waste. Palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) is one type
of the wastes coming from crude palm oil (CPO) refinery process. Utilization of this waste from
being discharged will reduce harmful into the environment. According to some studies, PFAD
contains bioactive compounds including squalene. Squalene is a natural antioxidant extracted
mostly from shark’s liver. Due to the main source extinction, an alternative source of squalene
has been studied and developed from edible vegetable oils including palm oil and PFAD.
Therefore, a simple methodology to utilize PFAD waste as source of squalene was developed by
saponification process continued with liquid-liquid extraction using different non-polar
solvents: n-heptane, dichloromethane, and chloroform. The yield of crude squalene obtained
from n-heptane, dichloromethane, and chloroform extracts were 81.86%, 75.35%, and 22.16%
respectively while the squalene content of n-heptane, dichloromethane, and chloroform extracts
were 0.97%, 4.55% and 0.67% respectively. The antioxidant activity of crude squalene extract
was also carried out by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) Radical-Scavenging
Assay and dichloromethane extract showed the highest activity of 0.0073 mg DPPH/mg
Extract. Therefore, dichloromethane solvent was chosen further to undergo another modified
saponification process which resulted in the yield of crude squalene of 1.44% with squalene
content of 73.52% and showed an increase antioxidant activity (0.2027 mg DPPH/mg Extract).