Abstract: An effective and accurate method including extraction, saponification, and separation was developed to determine astaxanthin (AX) in Saccharina japonica. The optimal extraction conditions with different solvents were investigated. 29.30 μg/g of AX was extracted from dry Saccharina japonica powder by solvent. After subsequent saponification, the extracted amount of AX was increased to 37.26 μg/g. Furthermore, 3 different ionic liquid-based silicas were prepared as sorbents for the solid phase extraction of AX from the extract. By comparing the adsorption isotherms of AX on different ionic liquid-based silicas, suitable sorbent was successfully selected and applied for separation of AX from extract.
Practical Application: Astaxanthin, in 3 main forms (free, monoesters, and diesters), can be obtained from marine plants and animals. By extraction with subsequent saponification, the astaxanthin was extracted from Saccharina japonica. And then, ionic liquid-based silicas were used to separate the astaxanthin from the extract solution. This method can be widely applied for determination, or even industrial separation and purification of astaxanthin from many other algae.