An overview of Soxhlet extraction, the advantages and shortcomings of this centenary technique as well as the attempts to improve its performance and achievements reached is here presented. Assistance of high pressure, ultrasound or microwaves has decreased or minimized the negative characteristics of the conventional extractor. Automation of Soxhlet performance opened the door to commercialization of a number of different approaches. The evolution of Soxhlet extractor is here critically discussed, and the conclusion from this overview is that the adoption of new technologies to improve its performance converts Soxhlet extraction in almost a "panacea" in this field. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.
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