The South Pacific islanders have consumed kava beverage for thousands of years. The quality of kava and kava beverage is evaluated through determination of the content of six major kavalactones including methysticin, dihydromethysticin, kavain, dihydrokavain, yangonin and desmethoxyyangonin. In this study, we determined contents of kavalactones in and chemotype of kava beverages prepared from roots and rhizomes of Isa and Mahakea varieties and extraction efficiency of five different solvents including hexane, acetone, methanol, ethanol and ethyl acetate. The six major kavalactones were detected in all kava beverages with these five solvents. Different solvents had different extraction efficiencies for kavalactones from the lyophilized kava preparations. The contents of kavalactones in the extracts with acetone, ethanol, and methanol did not differ significantly. Ethanol had the highest extraction efficiency for the six major kavalactones whereas hexane gave the lowest extraction efficiency.
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This work was supported in part by grants from the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Department of Health, USDA TSTAR (2005-34135-15989) and the Open Funding Project of the Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (JW).
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