Separation of Polyphenols in Tea on Weakly Acidic Cation-Exchange Gels


Anion-exclusion chromatography on weakly acidic cation-exchange resin or gel is usually solvent-free and controllable for analysis of anions. The investigation in this paper introduced the anion-exclusion mechanism in semi-preparation scale to separate tea polyphenols (EGCG and ECG) from caffeine and other impurities. Two corresponding methods were set up to decrease the negative charges of dextran-based weakly acidic cation-exchange gel CM-Sephadex C-25 and increase solute retention. One was the pre-treatment of gel slurry with diluted acid before column packing. The other was the application of electric field on a packed chromatographic column to generate hydrogen ions, which was partially combined with carboxylic groups of gel. Decreasing certain negative charges of gel by both ways could effectively decrease the electrostatic repulsion and enhance the solute separation. Anion-exclusion chromatography could diminish or abolish organic solvents in eluent. Successful isolation of tea polyphenols from crude tea extract by semi-preparative anion-exclusion chromatography illustrated that it is a controllable and promising separation method.

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Our work was supported by Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project, China (No. B203) and Shanghai Nanometer Project, China (No. 0259nm015).

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Correspondence to Fengsheng Zhao.

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Feng, L., Zhao, F. Separation of Polyphenols in Tea on Weakly Acidic Cation-Exchange Gels. Chroma 71, 775–782 (2010).

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  • Column liquid chromatography
  • Ion-exclusion chromatography
  • Semi-preparative chromatography
  • Cation-exchange gel
  • Tea polyphenols