Oil-bodies are minute plant organelles (0.5-2.0 mu m diameter) consisting of an oil core surrounded by a phospholipid monolayer/proteinaceous membrane. Oil-bodies have been isolated from rapeseed seeds and demonstrated to constitute a novel type of micro-capsule suitable for the extraction of hydrophobic organic compounds from aqueous environments. Three hydrophobic pesticides: atrazine (2-chlor-4-ethyl-amino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine), carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylearbamate) and parathion (O,O-diethyl O-(4-nitrophenyl) phosphorothioate), as well as naphthalene and 2-phenylethanol were successfully extracted from aqueous solutions, with absorption in the inner oily core of OB as sorption mechanism. The OB membrane does not represent a barrier for the mass transfer of the compound towards the inner oily core of OB. Moreover, due to very high surface area to volume ratio, oil-bodies exhibit very good mass transfer properties compared with larger synthetic microcapsules or two-phase liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) techniques, which diminishes the need for strong agitation and avoids the formation of difficult to separate stable emulsions. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.