Sequential Extraction of Organosolv Lignin from Chinese Quince Fruit: Structural Features and Antioxidant Activities of the Obtained Fractions

Xi-Chuang Cheng, Zhao Qin, Qiao-Li Yang, Hua-Min Liu, Xue-De Wang, Yu-Lan Liu

Abstract


Lignin from the Chinese quince (Chaenomeles sinensis) fruit offers a promising source of natural antioxidant for industrial applications. However, the utilization of Chinese quince fruit lignin is restricted by its inhomogeneous nature. Accordingly, Chinese quince fruit lignin was sequentially fractionated with organic solvents of increasing dissolving capacity to prepare homogeneous lignin fractions. The GPC (gel permeation chromatography) results showed that the molecular weights of lignin fractions increased from dichloromethane fraction to dioxane/water fraction. The five lignin fractions were also compared with respect to yield, carbohydrate content, thermal stability, inter-unit linkages, S/G ratios, and phenolic OH content. Among the five fractions, the ethyl acetate fraction showed a lower proportion of β-O-4' linkages (48.4%), the highest thermal stability, the highest phenolic OH content (2.8 mmol/g), and the highest DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging index and reducing power. The high antioxidant performance of the ethyl acetate fraction implies that it can be used as a natural antioxidant. This study shows that sequential solvent fractionation of lignin can produce homogeneous fractions with enhanced antioxidant performance. In addition, it demonstrates that Chinese quince fruits are a potentially valuable natural resource.

Keywords


Chinese quince fruits; Lignin fractionation; Characterization; Antioxidant property

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