Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp 2576–2584 | Cite as

Isolation and Purification of Phenolic Acids from Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) Rinds by pH-Zone-Refining Counter-Current Chromatography and Their Antioxidant Activity Evaluation

  • Ying-Tong Fang
  • Quan Li
  • Ao-Cheng Cao
  • Yuan Li
  • Yun Wei


The phenolic acids exhibit significant antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antimutation, and tyrosinase inhibitory effects. A high efficient and specific method for separation of phenolic acids from the sugarcane rinds based on pH-zone-refining counter-current chromatography technique was established. The separation was performed with a solvent system of methyl tert-butyl ether/acetonitrile/water at a volume ratio of 4:1:5, where 5 mM trifluoroacetic acid was added to the upper phase as a retainer and 3 mM NH4OH was added to the lower phase as an eluter. As a result, three phenolic acids including 4.8 mg of caffeic acid, 12.9 mg of ferulic acid, and 65.2 mg of p-coumaric acid were successfully purified in one run from 1.00 g crude extract with the purities of 93.4, 94.6, and 98.8%, respectively. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical and total antioxidant capacity assay were used to evaluate antioxidant activities. The separated individual phenolic acid had higher antioxidant activity than their mixture. Caffeic acid showed the greatest antioxidant activity, followed by ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid.


Phenolic acids Sugarcane rinds pH-zone-refining counter-current chromatography Antioxidant activity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The manuscript has not been published previously. The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.

Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.


This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Grant No. 21075007), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-11-0563), Beijing Nova Program Interdisciplinary Cooperation Project (Z161100004916045), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (YS1406).

Conflict of Interest

Ying-tong Fang declares that she has no conflict of interest. Quan Li declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ao-cheng Cao declares that he has no conflict of interest. Yuan Li declares that she has no conflict of interest. Yun Wei declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent is not applicable in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying-Tong Fang
    • 1
  • Quan Li
    • 1
  • Ao-Cheng Cao
    • 2
  • Yuan Li
    • 2
  • Yun Wei
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource EngineeringBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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