Flavonoids in horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) seeds and powdered waste water byproducts

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 17;55(21):8485-90. doi: 10.1021/jf071709t. Epub 2007 Sep 15.


Horse chestnut extracts are widely used in pharmacy and cosmetic industries. The main active constituents are saponins of oleane type, but seeds of horse chestnut also contain flavonoids, being glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol. Their contribution to the overall activity of the extracts was not clear. In the present work, the main flavonoids from horse chestnut seeds were isolated and their structures established with spectral methods. Seven glycosides were isolated, out of which six ( 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 13) were previously reported and one ( 9) was identified as a new tamarixetin 3- O- [beta- d-glucopyranosyl(1-->3)]- O-beta- d-xylopyranosyl-(1-->2)- O-beta- d-glucopyranoside. The structures of three additional compounds 1, 10, and 12, not previously reported, were deduced on the basis of their LC-ESI/MS/MS fragmentation characteristics. A new ultraperformance liquid chromatographic (UPLC) method has been developed for profiling and quantitation of horse chestnut flavonoids. The method allowed good separation over 4.5 min. Thirteen compounds could be identified in the profile, out of which di- and triglycoisdes of quercetin and kaempferol were the dominant forms and their acylated forms occurred in just trace amounts. The total concentration of flavonoids in the powdered horse chestnut seed was 0.88% of dry matter. The alcohol extract contained 3.46%, and after purification on C18 solid phase, this concentration increased to 9.40% of dry matter. The flavonoid profile and their content were also measured in the horse chestnut wastewater obtained as byproduct in industrial processing of horse chestnut seeds. The total flavonoid concentration in the powder obtained after evaporation of water was 2.58%, while after purification on solid phase, this increased to 11.23% dry matter. It was concluded that flavonoids are present in a horse chestnut extract in a relatively high amount and have the potential to contribute to the overall activity of these extracts. Industrial horse chestnut wastewater can be used to obtain quercetine and kaempferol glycosides for cosmetic, nutraceutical, and food supplement industries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aesculus / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / analysis*
  • Industrial Waste / analysis
  • Kaempferols / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Quercetin / analysis
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Water / analysis


  • Flavonoids
  • Industrial Waste
  • Kaempferols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Water
  • kaempferol
  • Quercetin