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A comparative study of ethanol and citric acid solutions for extracting betalains and total phenolic content from freeze-dried beetroot powder

Kumar, R., Methven, L. and Oruna-Concha, M. J. ORCID: (2023) A comparative study of ethanol and citric acid solutions for extracting betalains and total phenolic content from freeze-dried beetroot powder. Molecules, 28 (17). 6405. ISSN 1420-3049

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/molecules28176405


This research compares the extraction of betalains (betacyanin and betaxanthin) and total phenolic content using citric acid and aqueous-ethanol solutions. The aim is to find an environmentally sustainable alternative solvent for extracting these compounds from dried beetroot powder. Using citric acid solution as a solvent offers several benefits over ethanol. Citric acid is a weak organic acid found naturally in citrus fruits, making it a safe and environmentally friendly choice for certain extraction processes. Moreover, the use of citric acid as solvent offers biodegradability, non-toxicity, non-flammability, and is cost effective. A full factorial design and response surface methodology (RSM) were employed to assess the effects of extraction parameters (extraction time (5-30 min), extraction temperature (20, 30, 40 °C), pH of citric acid solution (3, 4, 5) and ethanol concentration (10, 20, 30 % v/v)). The yield was determined spectrophotometrically and expressed as mg/g of dry powder. Results showed that citric acid solution yielded 85-90% of the ethanolic ex-tract under identical conditions. The maximum yields of betacyanin, betaxanthin, and total phenolic content in citric acid solution were 3.98 ± 0.21 mg/g dry powder, 3.64 ± 0.26 mg/g dry powder, and 8.28 ± 0.34 mg/g dry powder, respectively, while aqueous-ethanol yielded 4.38 ± 0.17 mg/g dry powder, 3.95 ± 0.22 mg/g dry powder, and 8.45 ± 0.45 mg/g dry powder. Optimization resulted in maximum extraction yields of 90% for betalains and 85% for total phenolic content. The study demonstrates the potential of citric acid as a viable alternative to polar organic solvents for extracting phytochemicals from plant material, providing comparable results to aqueous-ethanol. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) models outperformed RSM in predicting extraction yields. Overall, this research high-lights the importance of exploring bio-solvents to enhance the environmental sustainability of phytochemical extraction.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:113107


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