Isolation of β-carotene, α-carotene and lutein from carrots by countercurrent chromatography with the solvent system modifier benzotrifluoride

Michael Englert, Simon Hammann, Walter Vetter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A carotenoid purification method with dual-mode countercurrent chromatography (CCC) for β-carotene, α-carotene and lutein from a fresh carrot extract was developed. The fluorinated liquid benzotrifluoride (IUPAC name: (trifluoromethyl)benzene) was used as a novel modifier in the non-aqueous ternary solvent system n-hexane/benzotrifluoride/acetonitrile. The ternary phase diagram of the type I solvent system was used to select two-phase solvent mixtures which enabled an efficient preparative separation of α-carotene, β-carotene and lutein from concomitant pigments in crude carrot extract. By means of the modifier, high separation factors (α≥. 1.2) were obtained, allowing baseline resolution between α-carotene and β-carotene due to specific chemical interactions such as π-π molecular interactions. After optimizing the injection step with a pseudo-ternary phase diagram, 51. mg of β-carotene, 32. mg of α-carotene and 4. mg of lutein could be isolated from 100.2. mg crude carrot extract in a short time and with high purities of 95% and 99% by using dual-mode CCC, respectively. Temperatures >22. °C had a negative impact on the separation of α-carotene and β-carotene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Volume1388
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • (trifluoromethyl)benzene
  • Benzotrifluoride
  • Carotenoids
  • Carrots
  • Countercurrent chromatography

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