Nutraceuticals: development of innovative ingredients from traditional botanical species


The increasing market demand from nutraceutical sector of product differentiation thrusts businesses towards the research for new ingredients of natural origin. Therefore, the development of extracts obtained from botanical species belonging to the European tradition, but obtained with innovative or alternative extraction systems is particularly attractive. In this context, in this work we have developed innovative ingredients from flower heads of Calendula officinalis through supercritical CO2 extraction and ultrasounds. Nutraceutical compounds contained in this species are triterpene esters and glycosylated flavonoids. Aim of this work was to develop selectively enriched extracts in such substances. First and foremost, the selective extraction of triterpene esters is carried out. These substances are extremely lipophylic and, therefore, they are efficiently extracted through supercritical CO2. Plant residue that comes from this process is then treated by ultrasonic extraction using ethanol-water mixtures, obtaining a second extract rich in hydrophilic compounds. Both types of extracts were subjected to chromatographic analysis for the identification and quantification of these compounds. The main compounds in supercritical extract are triterpene esters, in particular faradiol derivatives; hydrophilic extracts, instead, contain glycosylated flavonoids, particularly glycosylated derivatives of quercetin and isorhamnetine. In conclusion, the authors point out that the proposed approach allows obtaining two different kinds of extracts with completely different characteristics through the use of appropriate extraction techniques.

Bibliographic references

A.Portolan et al., 2° National Congress of Nutraceutics-SINUT, Milan, 24-26 February 2011, page 73