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Open AccessArticle

Biologically Active Compounds from Goji (Lycium Barbarum L.) Leaves Aqueous Extracts: Purification and Concentration by Membrane Processes

by Carmela Conidi 1,*, Enrico Drioli 1,2,3,4 and Alfredo Cassano 1,*
1
Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR, Via P. Bucci 17/C, 87036 CS Rende, Italy
2
Department of Engineering and of the Environment, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci 45/A, 87036 CS Rende, Italy
3
State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering, College of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 210009, China
4
Center of Excellence in Desalination Technology, King Abdulaziz University (KAU-CEDT), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10060935
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 16 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 21 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomolecules from Plant Residues)
Goji (Lycium barbarum L.) leaves and fruits have been described as a valuable source of bioactive compounds with a great potential for the development of health-promoting formulations. The present study aimed to evaluate the potential of a sustainable process for the recovery of phenolic compounds from Goji leaves through a combination of aqueous extraction and membrane-based operations. Water was used as a safe, cheap, and non-hazardous extraction solvent, and parameters of extraction of dried Goji leaves were optimized in order to maximize the yield of polyphenols, total soluble solids (TSS), and total antioxidants simultaneously. The aqueous extract was clarified by ultrafiltration and then processed with three flat-sheet polyethersulphone (PES) membranes with molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) values in the range of 0.3–4.0 kDa, in order to remove sugar compounds from polyphenols and improve the antioxidant activity of the produced fractions. Among the selected membranes, a 1 kDa membrane exhibited the best performance in terms of purification of polyphenols from the clarified aqueous extract. The rejection by this membrane of TSS and total carbohydrates was in the range of 15.8–25.3%, and was decreased by increasing the volume reduction factor (VRF). On the other hand, the retention values for total polyphenols and total antioxidant activity (TAA) were in the range of 73–80%, and were increased by increasing the VRF. View Full-Text
Keywords: Goji leaves; aqueous extraction; membrane processes; antioxidants; bioactive compounds Goji leaves; aqueous extraction; membrane processes; antioxidants; bioactive compounds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Conidi, C.; Drioli, E.; Cassano, A. Biologically Active Compounds from Goji (Lycium Barbarum L.) Leaves Aqueous Extracts: Purification and Concentration by Membrane Processes. Biomolecules 2020, 10, 935.

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