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Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Jun 27;785:50-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.04.031. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

An on-line method for pressurized hot water extraction and enzymatic hydrolysis of quercetin glucosides from onions.

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  • 1Lund University, Department of Chemistry, Centre for Analysis and Synthesis, Lund, Sweden.


A novel environmentally sound continuous-flow hot water extraction and enzymatic hydrolysis method for determination of quercetin in onion raw materials was successfully constructed using a stepwise optimization approach. In the first step, enzymatic hydrolysis of quercetin-3,4'-diglucoside to quercetin was optimized using a three level central composite design considering temperature (75-95°C), pH (3-6) and volume concentration of ethanol (5-15%). The enzyme used was a thermostable β-glucosidase variant (termed TnBgl1A_N221S/P342L) covalently immobilized on either of two acrylic support-materials (Eupergit(®) C 250L or monolithic cryogel). Optimal reaction conditions were irrespective of support 84°C, 5% ethanol and pH 5.5, and at these conditions, no significant loss of enzyme activity was observed during 72 h of use. In a second step, hot water extractions from chopped yellow onions, run at the optimal temperature for hydrolysis, were optimized in a two level design with respect to pH (2.6 and 5.5), ethanol concentration (0 and 5%) and flow rate (1 and 3 mL min(-1)) Obtained results showed that the total quercetin extraction yield was 1.7 times higher using a flow rate of 3 mL min(-1) (extraction time 90 min), compared to a flow rate of 1 mL min(-1) (extraction time 240 min). Presence of 5% ethanol was favorable for the extraction yield, while a further decrease in pH was not, not even for the extraction step alone. Finally, the complete continuous flow method (84°C, 5% ethanol, pH 5.5, 3 mL min(-1)) was used to extract quercetin from yellow, red and shallot onions and resulted in higher or similar yield (e.g. 8.4±0.7 μmol g(-1) fresh weight yellow onion) compared to a conventional batch extraction method using methanol as extraction solvent.

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