Fruits and vegetables have long been known to possess health benefits along with serving as a source of energy. The research to identify these compounds responsible for biological activities has gained prominence only in the past few decades. These natural bioactive compounds are important ingredients of our daily dietary intake. This core unit is mainly focused on extraction, purification and structure elucidation of natural bioactives from different fruits and vegetables. Further, the identified compounds will be tested for their potential health benefits.
The overall objective of this core unit is to work closely with Center investigators to isolate and identify bioactive components to explore novel and unique putative compounds for testing anticancer activity in cell culture and animal models
The specific aims of this core unit are (1) optimization of method development for the quantification of micronutrients and putative compounds; (2) solid-liquid, liquid-liquid extraction, and purification of these bioactive compounds by chromatographic techniques; (3) structure elucidation of purified compounds by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectra.
Our research involves bioassay-directed isolation, purification and chemical characterization of natural products from fruits and vegetables using preliminary antioxidant assay in different in vitro assay and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay and antiproliferative activity in cell culture models.
Isolation of natural products from fruits and vegetables involves state-of-the-art methodologies for separation and identification procedures. Taking into consideration that a fruit or vegetable may contain hundreds of constituents, the separation and purification process can be long and tedious. Isolation of natural products generally combines various separation techniques, depending on the solubility, volatility and stability of the compounds. The choice of different separation steps is of great importance and an analytical-scale optimization of the separation parameters is worthwhile.