Cynara cardunculus (cardoon) leaves are a rich source of bioactive compounds, such as cynaropicrin. In this work, ethanolic pulsed ultrasound assisted extraction (EtPUAE) derived extracts obtained from cardoon leaves were purified by membrane processing and the different fractions obtained were evaluated for their biological potential. A DuraMem® 200 membrane was selected for cynaropicrin recovery and removal of carbohydrates, in a diananofiltration mode. Diananofiltration (after 5 diavolumes) followed by nanofiltration allowed for a removal of 93.0% of glucose and 95.6% of fructose, with a cynaropicrin maximum loss of 13.9%. The fractionated extract revealed a higher biological activity, when tested with a BJ5-ta human normal fibroblast cell line. An integrated process is proposed, comprising an association of EtPUAE with a fractionation by diananofiltration, assuring a pay-back period of 4.58 years, assessed through an economic evaluation.
- Biological activity
- Economic evaluation
- Organic solvent nanofiltration