Investigation and Optimization of Methods for the Extraction of Antioxidants and Polyphenols from Yellow European Plums (Prunus Domestica L.)
Yellow European Plums (YEPs) contain health promoting compounds which may be extracted for use in functional food and nutraceutical industries. Conventional extraction methods include heat reflux extraction (HRE) and Soxhlet extraction, but often result in reduced extraction yields due to high temperature requirements and long extraction durations. Microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) is one method which can mitigate these drawbacks because it allows rapid and homogenous heating the biomatrix. The objective of this thesis is to determine the effects of solvent and solvent concentration, time, and temperature during MAE in comparison to other extraction methods. Concentration of phenolic compounds, specifically ascorbic acid, chlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, were quantified using a Folin-Ciocalteau method and HPLC analysis. Antioxidant scavenging of free radicals such as 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and Fe3+-tripyridyltraizine (FRAP) were used to determine antioxidant capacity of samples. It was observed that MAE yielded larger concentrations of bioactive compounds in comparison to other extraction methods.