Application of membrane separation process in concentration and separation of polyphenol compounds for evaluation of their health benefits

While the health benefits of polyphenols found in plants are well known, quantification of the benefit and the safe level of intake requires accurate extraction, concentration and specification of polyphenols from natural sources in food and beverages. Membrane separation processes can be utilized as better alternatives in the concentration and separation process. Their potential advantages include; greater separation efficiency, higher purity, mild operation parameters and avoidance or reduced use of solvents. However, membrane fouling could compromise separation performance and therefore needs to be mitigated.

This study evaluated membrane filtration processes including MF, UF and NF in application of concentration of polyphenolic compounds extracted from tea solution. The operational parameters (including membrane molecular weight cut off (MWCO), pressure, filtration time and stirring rate) that may affect membrane separation performance in terms of permeate flux, rejection rate and concentration factor were evaluated. Concentration and components of polyphenols in the solution were analyzed using spectrophotometer and GC-MS with identified internal standard respectively.

Research Team:    Hongyu Li
                               Jaysharee Arcot
                               Vicki Chen