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Critical fluids have historically been applied as an extraction and/or reaction medium in the food, agricultural and nutraceutical industries. The solution thermodynamic properties of solvents such as water above its boiling point and under pressure, also known as “subcritical water,” is now commonly being employed as an option for the extraction of some polar components such as flavonoids and carbohydrates from natural products. This chapter discusses the application of super- and subcritical fluids in the extraction, reaction, and/or hydrolysis of value-added products from food and agricultural matrices. This chapter has been updated with the latest achievements in the field and the several industries using supercritical fluid technology to produce high-value products from food and agricultural matrices. The focus of this chapter is not limited only to sub- and supercritical fluids but also covers the integration of multi-fluid and multi-phase processing of food and agricultural matrices to produce high-value products. Multi-fluid processing platforms integrate supercritical carbon dioxide and subcritical fluids (such as water and ethanol) at different stages to extract selectively non-polar and polar compounds, respectively, from the food matrices, thereby achieving the highest value from the low-cost feed streams. Multi-phase processing platforms using “gas-expanded” fluids can be tuned using temperature and pressure to extract selectively various high-value compounds from food and agricultural matrices, namely those that have polarity between those of supercritical carbon dioxide and subcritical water. Enhanced mass transfer during supercritical fluid processing has been achieved using expellers and extruders and such processes have been applied for the effective extraction of oil from various oilseeds.

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