Extraction of Flavonoids from the Saccharification of Rice Straw Is an Integrated Process for Straw Utilization

  • Xiubing Ma
  • Xingxuan Chen
  • Xiahui Wang
  • Sukyeong Choi
  • Tian-Ao Zhang
  • Jiajun Hu
  • Yiu Fai Tsang
  • Min-Tian GaoEmail author


To date, bioethanol is not economically competitive. One strategy to overcome this limitation is co-producing ethanol and high value-added products as an integrated process. The results of this study demonstrated that flavonoids could be extracted from rice straw, and the flavonoids apigenin and kaempferol were detected by HPLC. Compared with untreated straw, ball-milling slightly increased the total amount of flavonoids and antioxidant activity measured by ABTS, DPPH, and FRAP assays. The saccharification step in the bioconversion of straw strongly affected the extraction of flavonoids from straw. The residue obtained after saccharification of ball-milled straw for glucose production was more suitable for flavonoid extraction than untreated and ball-milled straw. The yield of flavonoids from the residue was 1.51-fold higher than that from untreated straw. The antioxidant activity of flavonoids derived from the residue was similar to that of flavonoid-rich biomasses such as rice bran and wheat bran. More importantly, saccharification may significantly affect the conditions of flavonoid extraction. In this respect, treatment with cellulase may reduce the extraction time from 2.0 to 0.5 h and the extraction temperature from 80 to 30 °C. Therefore, saccharification in the bioconversion of straw may be considered as an enzyme pretreatment step for the efficient extraction of flavonoids from straw, serving as a sustainable process for straw utilization.


Rice straw Flavonoids Saccharification Antioxidant activity Sustainable development 


Funding Information

This work was supported by the Special Fund for Agroscientific Research in the Public Interest (No. 201503135-14); the Scientific Research Projects of Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (16391902000).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Bio-energy Crops, School of Life SciencesShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Architecture, Shanghai Academy of Fine ArtsShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Science and Environmental StudiesThe Education University of Hong Kongtai PoHong Kong, China

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