Conventional extraction technologies to recover sesquiterpene lactones, relay on long extraction periods, with high temperatures, and use of organic solvents, often leading to degradation of target compounds. Within the present study, the effect of environmentally friendly, and economically viable methodologies, namely ultrasound assisted extraction, using biocompatible solvents, upon cynaropicrin, a sesquiterpene lactone found in Cynara cardunculus leaves was evaluated. Hansen solubility parameters, cynaropicrin extraction yield and energy consumption were evaluated. The ultrasound assisted extraction, using ethanol, showed to be the best cynaropicrin extraction methodology, leading to a reduction of 99% of extraction time (7 h to 5 min), a 30% increase of the cynaropicrin extraction yield (40.32–55.00 mg/g Dry Weight), and a 97% reduction of energy consumption (1.160–0.027 kWh/gcynaropicrin), compared to Soxhlet extraction. The results obtained from this study may be easily transposed to other sesquiterpene lactones extraction processes, with industrial relevance, as an alternative to conventional extraction methodologies.
- Cynara cardunculus leaves extracts
- Cynaropicrin-guaianolide-type sesquiterpene lactone
- Hansen solubility parameters
- Non-conventional extraction methodologies
- Ultrasound assisted extraction