Developing green solvents with low toxicity and cost is an important issue for the biochemical industry. Synthetic ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents have received considerable attention due to their negligible volatility at room temperature, high solubilization ability, and tunable selectivity. However, the potential toxicity of the synthetic ionic liquids and the solid state at room temperature of most deep eutectic solvents hamper their application as extraction solvents. In this study, a wide range of recently discovered natural ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents (NADES) composed of natural compounds were investigated for the extraction of phenolic compounds of diverse polarity. Safflower was selected as a case study because its aromatic pigments cover a wide range of polarities. Many advantageous features of NADES (such as their sustainability, biodegradability combined with acceptable pharmaceutical toxicity profiles, and their high solubilization power of both polar and nonpolar compounds) suggest their potential as green solvents for extraction. Experiments with different NADES and multivariate data analysis demonstrated that the extractability of both polar and less polar metabolites was greater with NADES than conventional solvents. The water content in NADES proved to have the biggest effect on the yield of phenolic compounds. Most major phenolic compounds were recovered from NADES with a yield between 75% and 97%. This study reveals the potential of NADES for applications involving the extraction of bioactive compounds from natural sources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry