Abstract: Value of tomato seed has not been fully recognized. The objectives of this research were to establish suitable processing conditions for extracting oil from tomato seed by using solvent, determine the impact of processing conditions on yield and antioxidant activity of extracted oil, and elucidate kinetics of the oil extraction process. Four processing parameters, including time, temperature, solvent-to-solid ratio and particle size were studied. A second order model was established to describe the oil extraction process. Based on the results, increasing temperature, solvent-to-solid ratio, and extraction time increased oil yield. In contrast, larger particle size reduced the oil yield. The recommended oil extraction conditions were 8 min of extraction time at temperature of 25 °C, solvent-to-solids ratio of 5/1 (v/w) and particle size of 0.38 mm, which gave oil yield of 20.32% with recovery rate of 78.56%. The DPPH scavenging activity of extracted oil was not significantly affected by the extraction parameters. The inhibitory concentration (IC50) of tomato seed oil was 8.67 mg/mL which was notably low compared to most vegetable oils. A 2nd order model successfully described the kinetics of tomato oil extraction process and parameters of extraction kinetics including initial extraction rate (h), equilibrium concentration of oil (Cs), and the extraction rate constant (k) could be precisely predicted with R2 of at least 0.957.
Practical Application: The study revealed that tomato seed which is typically treated as a low value byproduct of tomato processing has great potential in producing oil with high antioxidant capability. The impact of processing conditions including time, temperature, solvent-to-solid ratio and particle size on yield, and antioxidant activity of extracted tomato seed oil are reported. Optimal conditions and models which describe the extraction process are recommended. The information is vital for determining the extraction processing conditions for industrial production of high quality tomato seed oil.