Achiote (Bixa orellana) is highly appreciated as a condiment and as the main source of bixin and tocotrienols, both having antioxidant properties. To explore the possibility of maximizing the antioxidant activity of achiote seed extracts using clean methodologies, the use of sonication and green solvents were tested. Ethyl lactate, isopropyl acetate, and ethanol combined with probe sonication produced the best results, obtaining similar bixin contents but higher δ-tocotrienol contents, as well as significantly higher in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity compared with the maceration method extract, requiring low energy and saving time and solvents. The probe-sonicated achiote extract with the highest δ-tocotrienol content was better at increasing the Caenorhabditis elegans resistance to oxidative stress than the extract obtained through maceration. This is the first report about the effect of sonication combined with green solvents on the bixin and δ-tocotrienol content in achiote seed extracts and its relevance on the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity.
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We appreciate the kind disposition and collaboration of Alma Elizabeth Cruz Ph.D. for her technical support in this work. This research was supported by UAM and PRODEP-SEP Pre and Postharvest Science and Technology Network Program. SA is supported for a CONACyT Grant (288574). DRGL holds a CONACYT scholarship  as part of his PhD studies (UAM Biotechnology Program PNPC-001466).
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Gómez-Linton, D.R., Navarro-Ocaña, A., Román-Guerrero, A. et al. Environmentally friendly achiote seed extracts with higher δ-tocotrienol content have higher in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity than the conventional extract. J Food Sci Technol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-020-04764-0
- Bixa orellana
- Green solvents
- Bioactive compounds
- C. elegans