Downstream processing of hyperforin fromHypericum perforatumroot cultures

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Hyperforin is a major metabolite of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort) and has recently been found in hormone induced root cultures. The objective of this study is to identify a downstream process for the production of a hyperforin-rich extract with maximum extraction efficiency and minimal decomposition. The maximum extraction time was found to be 60 min. The comparison of two equipment concepts for the extraction and solvent evaporation was performed employing two different solvents. While the rotary mixer showed better results for the extraction efficiency than a stirred vessel, the latter set-up was able to handle larger volumes but did not meet all process requirements. For the evaporation the prompt evaporation of the extraction agent using nitrogen stripping led to minor decomposition. In a 5 L stirred vessel, the highest specific extraction of hyperforin was 4.3 mg hyperforin/g dry weight bio material. Parameters for the equipment design for extraction and solvent evaporation were determined based on the experimental data.

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