A NEW METHOD FOR ELLAGIC ACID PRODUCTION FROM POMEGRANATE HUSK

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) husk, a by-product of the pomegranate juice industry, is an inexpensive and abundant source of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is widely used as functional food for its physiological functions. It is the breakdown product of ellagitannins. To date, the preparation of ellagic acid from pomegranate husk has not been reported. This article reports a new process for ellagic acid production from pomegranate husk by extraction of tannins followed by acid hydrolysis and purification by extraction and recrystallization. Several tests were conducted to obtain optimum conditions including extraction of tannins by varying solvents, acid concentration and reaction time for acid hydrolysis and the volume of methanol used for purification. Ellagic acid (3.5 g) with 90% purity from 100 g pomegranate husk was obtained. This new method is easy to scale up. All equipment used in this production process is widely used in food processing industry. The cost of production is low. It is suitable for industrial applications.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

The production of ellagic acid is easier and the yield and purity of ellagic acid produced this way are higher than before. This method can be used not only for experiment in laboratory but also for industrial applications. The material – pomegranate husk – is a by-product of the pomegranate juice industry, so it is very cheap and easy to get. High-purity ellagic acid produced this way is sold to many companies back home and abroad. It is used as food additive and cosmetic material because of its antioxidant activity and whiteningfunction. The toxicity of pomegranate husk is lower than that of gallnut, which has been the main material of ellagic acid production in the past. Reagents are common and inexpensive; some of them are reusable.

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