Secondary metabolites isolation in natural products chemistry
Chemical investigations on secondary metabolites in natural products chemistry require efficient isola- tion techniques for characterization purpose as well as for the evaluation of their biological properties. In the case of phytochemical studies, the performance of the techniques is critical (resolution and yield) since the products generally present a narrow range of polarity and physicochemical properties. Several techniques are currently available, but HPLC (preparative and semipreparative) is the most widely used. To compare the performance of semipreparative HPLC and HPTLC for the isolation of secondary metabo- lites in different types of extracts, we have chosen carvone from spearmint essential oil (Mentha spicata L.), resveratrol from Fallopia multiflora (Thunb.) Haraldson, and rosmarinic acid from rosemary (Rosmar- inus officinalis L.) extracts. The comparison was based on the chromatographic separation, the purity and quantity of isolated compounds, the solvent consumption, the duration and the cost of the isolation operations. The results showed that semipreparative HPTLC can in some case offer some advantages over conventional semipreparative HPLC.