A metabolomics approach to evaluate the effect of lyophilization versus oven drying on the chemical composition of plant extracts

Nancy A. ElNaker, Mariane Daou, Michael A. Ochsenkühn, Shady A. Amin, Ahmed F. Yousef, Lina Yousef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lyophilization is the “gold standard” for drying plant extracts, which is important in preserving their quality and extending their shelf-life. Compared to other methods of drying plant extracts, lyophilization is costlier due to equipment, material and operational expenses. An alternative method is post-extraction oven-drying, but the effects of this process on extract quality are unknown. In this study, crude extracts from Arthrocnemum macrostachyum shoots were compared using three post-extraction drying methods (lyophilization and oven drying at 40 and 60 °C) and two extraction solvents (water and aqueous 50% ethanol). Untargeted metabolomics coupled with chemometrics analysis revealed that post extraction oven-drying resulted in the loss of up to 27% of molecular features when compared to lyophilization in water extracts only. In contrast, only 3% of molecular features were lost in aqueous 50% ethanol extracts when subjected to oven drying. That is to say, ethanol used as a solvent has a stabilizing effect on metabolites and enhances their resistance to thermal transformation in the oven. Collectively, oven-drying of extracts was as effective as lyophilization in preserving metabolites in extracts only when 50% ethanol was used as a solvent. The results presented in this paper demonstrate the value of selecting solvent-appropriate post-extraction drying methods.

Original languageBritish English
Article number22679
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

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