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method for preparing dicaffeoylquinic acids (antioxidants) from sweet potato


Key words Dicaffeoylquinic acid (diCQ), antioxidant, phenolic compound, sweet potato
Latest version 2013/09/05
Completed by INRA - IATE

How does it work?

Primary objective Improved extraction process for 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acids (3,5-diCQ) for their use as antioxidants in foods
Working principle Dicaffeoylquinic acids (diCQ) are phenolic compounds of the phenylpropanoid family. They are a group of isomeric compounds identified in many species of agronomic interest belonging to different botanical families. Numerous publications describe the chemical and biological properties of these natural substances, notably a considerable antioxidant activity which makes them very interesting from a nutritional perspective. (2,3,4)

The current extraction methods have a low yield (because of the limited diCQ content of the used plant material, the formation of isomers during extraction process, and the presence of many other phenolic compounds that hinder the isolation of these specific molecules). Consequently, the diCQ have become recently available on the market, but at high prices.

A new process has been designed to extract diCQ at high yield from non-tuberous roots of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), with very good purity (more than 98%). The extraction operation is followed by a purification stage, carried out through HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography). For example, with 10 grams of root dry matter containing 5 to 10% of diCQ (depending on the culture conditions), up to 200 mg of diCQ can be extracted, i.e. a yield of 2 %. (1)

The combination of a selection of relevant plant genotypes + growing conditions + purification operation makes the global process very efficient.

Applying this new process on sweet potato, a cheap and potentially abundant vegetable source, will open the way for the production of large amounts of 3,5-diCQ at low cost.

Additional effects diCQ are used in traditional medicine, commonly prepared from Artichoke, Echinacea or Propolis extracts.

Many pharmacological properties have been described: analgesic (5), anti-hypertensive (6), hypouricemic (7), anti-inflammatory (9), hepatoprotective (8), antidiabetic, anticancer (10, 13) and antiviral properties (against hepatitis B, AIDS) (11, 12), which could lead to applications in pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications.

Anti-fungal properties of diCQ have been proved (14,15), which leads to potential applications in storage of crops (cereals and vegetables).

Moreover, in vitro experimental results have also demonstrated the toxic properties of diCQ on aphids, major pests of many crops and pathogen vectors. Yet the in vivo application on plant crops has yet to be demonstrated (1)

Important process parameters - non degrading conditions: pH, light, temperature, solvent

- efficient extraction and purification by HPLC

Important product parameters - plant genotype

- growing conditions of the plant

- period of harvesting

What can it be used for?

Products Plants of different botanical families synthesize diCQ as a secondary metabolite: Rosaceae (pome fruit and stone fruits), Solanaceae (tomato, potato), Asteraceae (sunflower, artichoke, lettuce), Rubiaceae (coffee), Convolvulaceae (sweet potato), etc. diCQ are used as antioxidants (food additives or nutritional supplement).

To date, this process is validated only on Convolvulaceae

Operations separation
Solutions for short comings Affordable antioxidants

natural compounds

What can it NOT be used for?

Products No information about other raw material than the botanical families mentioned in “product” section
Operations Any other than separation
Other limitations not known
Risks or hazards not known


Maturity The method of extraction of diCQ from non-tuberous roots of sweet potato or other species of the Convolvulaceae family, and the use of this compound family for combating aphids are protected under a patent registered by INRA Transfert for labscale.

Licenses are available through INRA Transfert; the licensee will have to work on the upscaling.

Modularity /Implementation This technology replaces the existing processes
Consumer aspects Interest for antioxidants
Legal aspects The extraction process and the aphidicid applications are patented through: WO2009095624
Environmental aspects The diCQ are natural active molecules with analgesic, hypouricemic, anti- inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, anticancer and antiviral properties, which can replace the currently used synthetic equivalent molecules.

If proved valid for field application as aphidicid, the application of diCQ will be a natural phytosanitary treatment. (1)

Further Information

Institutes INRA - GAFL
Companies INRA Transfert
References # Poëssel, J.L., Collet, M.H. , Rahbe, Y., 2009. Method for preparing dicaffeoylquinic acids and use thereof in combating aphids. WO2009/095624
  1. Iwai et al, 2004. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52: 4893-4898
  1. Kim and Lee, 2005. Planta Medica, 71: 871-876
  1. Saito et al, 2005. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 13:4191-4199
  1. Dos Santos et al, 2005. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 96: 545-549
  1. Mishima et al, 2005a. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 28: 1909-1914
  1. Nguyen et al, 2005. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 28: 2231-2234
  1. Basnet et al, 1996. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 19: 1479-1484
  1. Peluso et al, 1995. Journal of Natural Products, 58:639-646
  1. Mishima et al, 2005b. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 13: 5814-5818
  1. Junxing, D., Zhibao, M., Zhongming, T., and Bingji, W., 2000. Utilisation d’un nouvel acide bicafeoyliquinique dans le traitement de l’hépatite B et des maladies liées à des retrovirus, et derives de cet acide bicafeoylquinique (use of dicaffeoylquinic acids as anti-hepatite B antiviral agents). WO 9809599, EP1008344.
  1. McDougall, B., King, P.J., Wu, B.W., Hostomsky, Z., Reineck, M.G., and Robinson, W.E., 1998. Dicaffeoyliquinic and dicaffeoyltartaric acids are selective inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 42: 140-146
  1. Islam, S., 2006. Sweet potatoe (Ipomoea batatas sp.) leaf: its potential effect on human health and nutrition. Journal of food Science, 71: 13-121
  1. Kodoma et al, 1998. Phytochemstry, 47: 371-373
  1. Stange et al, 2001. Postharvest Biology & Technology, 23: 85-92

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- growing conditions of the plant

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2.1.1, 2.2.1 physical, chemical separation other INRA Transfert database of technological offers; contact WikiSysop :Template:Review document :Template:Review status

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Created by Hte inra on 4 December 2012, at 17:02