Exhaustive Extraction of Compounds from Pomegranate Peel and Flesh Using Solvents of Varying Polarity
Pomegranate fruit is the most studied part of punica granatum shrub. The fruit contains enormous amount of polyphenol compounds in the peel and arils (flesh) which are responsible for its antioxidant activity. The polyphenols present are of varying degree of lipophilicity and thus would require solvents of varying polarity to extract them. In this study, the effects of solvent type and homogenisation on extraction yield were considered. The fruit was first separated into peel and flesh and subsequently, one half of each of the peel and flesh were separately homogenised. Ethanol, ethylacetate and hexane were used to extract the polyphenol content of each of the four samples; non-homogenised peel (NP), non-homogenised flesh (NF), homogenised peel (HP) and homogenised flesh (HF) in decreasing order of polarity using maceration method. The extraction was carried out successively using the residue recovered from previous extraction. Ethanol was used for a second time to complete the extraction process. The total extractive yield from the four samples were 27.19, 26.04, 25.03 and 15.61 for HP, NP, HF and NF respectively. The experiment has demonstrated that maceration process can be used to extract compounds from pomegranate to give a yield similar to more sophisticated method and ethanol is a suitable solvent for extracting hydrophilic compounds from the fruit.
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