Isolation of bluish anthocyanin-derived pigments obtained from blueberry surplus using centrifugal partition chromatography

Ana N. Nunes, Viktoriya Ivasiv, Luís F. Gouveia, Naiara Fernández, Joana Oliveira, Maria Rosário Bronze, Ana A. Matias

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Replacement of synthetic colorants with natural ones is a current marketing trend. Nevertheless, the naturally occurring blue color is rare compared to other colours. In this work, centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) process was developed as a more efficient and sustainable alternative to reversed phase column chromatography (RP-CC) for the preparative-scale purification of portisins. The strategy began with the extraction of anthocyanins from blueberry surplus and hemi-synthesis of respective portisins. Then, the CPC method development started with the biphasic solvent system selection followed by the optimization of the operating parameters and ended up with a comparison with RP-CC. Aiming at maximizing the portisin content, process throughput, efficiency, and minimizing the environmental risk factor, the effect of sample load (100–500 mg/100 mL of column volume), mobile phase flow rate (10–20 mL/min), and rotation speed (1000–1600 rpm) was evaluated. The two-phase solvent system consisted of tert‑butyl‑methyl ether, n-butanol, acetonitrile, and water (volume ratio 2:2:1:5) acidified with 0.1 vol.% of HCl was selected. The best conditions were 464 mg of sample/100 mL of column volume, 20 mL/min of mobile phase flow rate, and 1600 rpm of rotation speed at reversed phase mode, allowing the purification of portisins by 5-fold. Compared to the RP-CC, the CPC process efficiency was 2.4 times higher, while the CPC process environmental risk factor was 5.5 times lower. Overall, this study suggests that CPC can be considered an effective, and sustainable alternative process for the preparative isolation of portisins. With this purification approach, the blueberry surplus has been valorized and a naturally derived product has been prepared, allowing its subsequent use as a natural blue colorant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number464150
JournalJournal Of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023


  • Blueberry residues valorization
  • Bluish pigment
  • Centrifugal partition chromatography
  • Portisin


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