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J Chromatogr A. 2007 Jan 26;1140(1-2):95-100. Epub 2006 Dec 11.

Isolation of chlorophylls a and b from spinach by counter-current chromatography.

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Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, 435 Weniger Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


A method for the isolation of chlorophylls from spinach by counter-current chromatography was developed. An initial extraction protocol was devised to avoid the notorious sensitivity of chlorophylls to degradation by light, heat, oxygen, acids and bases. Further purification and separation of chlorophylls a and b were achieved using counter-current chromatography. Chlorophyll structures and purities were established by HPLC, fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Purity was estimated to be >95% (100% by HPLC). Typical yields from 30g of freeze-dried spinach were 300mg of chlorophyll a and 100mg of chlorophyll b.

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