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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2013 Dec 15;941:54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Versatile solvent systems for the separation of betalains from processed Beta vulgaris L. juice using counter-current chromatography.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute C-1, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Cracow University of Technology, ul. Warszawska 24, Cracow 31-155, Poland. Electronic address:


Two mixtures of decarboxylated and dehydrogenated betacyanins from processed red beet roots (Beta vulgaris L.) juice were fractionated by high performance counter-current chromatography (HPCCC) producing a range of isolated components. Mixture 1 contained mainly betacyanins, 14,15-dehydro-betanin (neobetanin) and their decarboxylated derivatives while mixture 2 consisted of decarboxy- and dehydro-betacyanins. The products of mixture 1 arose during thermal degradation of betanin/isobetanin in mild conditions while the dehydro-betacyanins of mixture 2 appeared after longer heating of the juice from B. vulgaris L. Two solvent systems were found to be effective for the HPCCC. A highly polar, high salt concentration system of 1-PrOH-ACN-(NH4)2SO4 (satd. soln)-water (v/v/v/v, 1:0.5:1.2:1) (tail-to-head mode) enabled the purification of 2-decarboxy-betanin/-isobetanin, 2,17-bidecarboxy-betanin/-isobetanin and neobetanin (all from mixture 1) plus 17-decarboxy-neobetanin, 2,15,17-tridecarboxy-2,3-dehydro-neobetanin, 2-decarboxy-neobetanin and 2,15,17-tridecarboxy-neobetanin (from mixture 2). The other solvent system included heptafluorobutyric acid (HFBA) as ion-pair reagent and consisted of tert-butyl methyl ether (TBME)-1-BuOH-ACN-water (acidified with 0.7% HFBA) (2:2:1:5, v/v/v/v) (head-to-tail mode). This system enabled the HPCCC purification of 2,17-bidecarboxy-betanin/-isobetanin and neobetanin (from mixture 1) plus 2,15,17-tridecarboxy-2,3-dehydro-neobetanin, 2,17-bidecarboxy-2,3-dehydro-neobetanin and 2,15,17-tridecarboxy-neobetanin (mixture 2). The results of this research are crucial in finding effective isolation methods of betacyanins and their derivatives which are meaningful compounds due their colorant properties and potential health benefits regarding antioxidant and cancer prevention. The pigments were detected by LC-DAD and LC-MS/MS techniques.


ACN; Beta vulgaris L; Betacyanins; Betalains; Betanin; BuOH; CCC; CID; Counter-current chromatography; EtOH; HFBA; HPCCC; HSCCC; K(D); MeOH; PFCA; PrOH; RP-HPLC; TBME; TFA; acetonitrile; butanol; collision induced dissociation; counter-current chromatography; ethanol; heptafluorobutyric acid; high-performance counter-current chromatography; high-speed counter-current chromatography; methanol; partition coefficient; perfluorocarboxylic acid; propanol; reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography; tert-butyl methyl ether; trifluoroacetic acid

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