Ultrasonic Quercetin Extraction
Quercetin is a plant compound of the group of polyphenols, which is known for manifold health beenfits.
To produce high-quality quercetin for food additives and supplements, an efficient, yet mild extraction technique is required to prevent decomposition.
Ultrasonic extraction is a mild, mechanical extraction method, which gives high yields of quercetin in a very short extraction time.
High-Performance Ultrasonics for High-Quality Quercetin Extracts
Ultrasonic extraction is well-known and established as a mild, non-thermal, yet highly efficient method to release bioactive compounds from plant material. Ultrasonic extraction is based on the phenomenon of acoustic cavitation, which is a purely mechanical treatment. This makes sonication the preferred method for the isolation of sensitive bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, quercetin, or antioxidants from botanicals.
- Superior yields
- High-speed extraction – within minutes
- High quality extracts – mild, non-thermal
- Green solvents (water, ethanol, methanol, etc.)
- Easy and safe operation
- Low investment and operational costs
- 24/7 operation under heavy-duty
- Green, eco-friendly method
Case Study: Ultrasound-Assisted Quercetin Extraction
Sharifi et al. (2017) have shown that ultrasonic extraction is an effective and practical method in order to extract flavonoids such as quercetin from medicinal plants. They used a Hielscher UP400St (400W, see pic. left) at 50% amplitude setting. The radish (Raphanus Sativus) leaves were placed in methanol and sonicated for 10 min., which resulted in a quercetin yield of 11.8% yield.The superiority of ultrasonically assisted extraction in comparison to conventional techniques such as maceration, Soxhlet extraction and thermal digestion. Ultrasonic extraction excels with higher yields, significantly shorter extraction times and lower amounts of solvents. The application of ultrasonic waves generates cavitation, which disrupts the cell walls of plant material and promotes mass transfer. Thus, ultrasonic extraction is more effective than traditional methods and excels in quercetin extraction from organic matrices. Although ultrasonic extraction needed only 10 min. – compared to extraction times of 24hrs for maceration, 60min. for thermal digestion, and 24hrs for Soxhlet extraction – the amount of ultrasonically extracted quercetin was higher than that of digestion, maceration and Soxhlet extraction.
Ultrasonic Extraction Equipment
Hielscher Ultrasonics is specialized in manufacturing high-performance ultrasonic processors for the production of high-quality extracts from botanicals.
Hielscher’s broad product portfolio ranges from small, powerful lab ultrasonicators to robust bench-top and fully industrial systems, which deliver high intensity ultrasound for the efficient extraction and isolation of bioactive substances (e.g. polyphenols, gingerol, piperine, curcumin etc.). All ultrasonic devices from 200W to 16,000W feature a coloured display for digital control, an integrated SD card for automatic data recording, browser remote control and many more user-friendly features. The sonotrodes and flow cells (the parts, which are in contact with the medium) can be autoclaved and are easy to clean. All our ultrasonicators are built for 24/7 operation, require low maintenance and are easy and safe to operate.
A digital colour display allows for a user-friendly control of the ultrasonicator, which makes the process precisely adjustable. Our systems are capable to deliver from low up to very high amplitudes. For the extraction of polyphenols such as quercetin, we offer special ultrasonic sonotrodes (also known as ultrasonic probes or horns) that are optimized for the sensible isolation of high-quality active substances. The robustness of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment allows for 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments.
The precise control of the ultrasonic process parameters ensures reproducibility and process standardization.
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- Sharifi, Niusha; Mahernia, Shabnam; Amanlou, Massoud (2017): Comparison of Different Methods in Quercetin Extraction from Leaves of Raphanus sativus L. Pharmaceutical Sciences March 2017, 23, 59-65.
Facts Worth Knowing
Quercetin, a plant flavonol (which is a sub-group of the flavonoid group of polyphenols) is found in many fruits, vegetables, leaves. Natural sources of quercetin are apples, peppers, red wine, dark cherries and berries (blueberries, bilberries, blackberries and others), tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and sprouts; leafy green vegetables, auch as spinach, kale; citrus fruits, cocoa, cranberries, whole grains, such as buckwheat, asparagus, capers, red onions, olive oil, black and green tea, beans and legumes; herbs, such as sage, American elder, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba.
Quercetin is distinguished by a bitter flavor. Due to its many health-promoting effects, it is used as an additive in dietary supplements, beverages, food and pharmaceuticals.
Researchers of the University of Verona, Italy, found that quercetin glycosides, like isoquercetin, and other flavonoids like kaempferol are anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agents which can influence different cell types in both animals and humans positively. Quercetin might help lower inflammation, fight allergies, support heart health, combat pain, potentially improve endurance, fight cancer, and protect skin and liver health. As a botanical compound, quercetin has been used since ancient times as a natural remedy. For example, in Iran quercetin is used as a traditional medicine, where it is administered as a laxative and more recently as anti-tumor, antiproliferative and anti-diabetic agent.