In this paper, the process of supercritical fluid extraction was characterized: its theoretical basis and the method of performing it. Those flaws and advantages of the process were presented which confirmed the possibility of applying this process in the food industry. Furthermore, the range of supercritical fluid extraction applications was reviewed. Also, there were discussed three processes used on an industrial scale, and involving the method of separation described in this paper: coffee decaffeination, hop extraction, and dealcoholization. Additionally, owing to the fact that the scientific research has focused on the method of supercritical fluid extraction, its applications were presented. Among those applications, the isolation of highly valuable components occurring in small concentrations in food products was regarded as particularly interesting and attractive.
critical point, CO2, decaffeination, isolation, fractioning