, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 243-257

An overview on the application of ultrasound in extraction, separation and purification of plant polysaccharides

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Abstract

In view of the recent emphasis on non-conventional chemistry, application of ultrasound in isolation of plant polysaccharides represents a viable alternative to traditional extraction processes. This review presents an extensive literature survey of ultrasound-assisted extraction of polysaccharides from different plant materials, particularly herbal plants and secondary agricultural plant sources. Targeted, multistep methods were applied with respect to differences in the types of polysaccharides and their location in plant cell walls. The effectiveness of the methods was evaluated according to yield and properties of the isolated polysaccharides in comparison to classical extraction methods. Substantial shortening of extraction time, reduction of reagent consumption and/or extraction temperature are the most important advantages of the ultrasonic treatment. In combination with sequential extraction steps using different solvents, sonication was shown to be effective in separation and/or purification of polysaccharides. The disadvantages of the sonication treatment, such as degradation and compositional changes of the polysaccharide preparations are discussed as well.