Clean recovery of antioxidant flavonoids from onions: optimising solvent free microwave extraction method

J Chromatogr A. 2009 Nov 6;1216(45):7700-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2009.09.044. Epub 2009 Sep 23.


A solvent free microwave hydrodiffusion and gravity extraction (MHG) of flavonol content from onion (Allium cepa L.) was studied. Effectiveness of this innovative method in extraction of onion total phenolic content, total quercetin (TQ), quercetin aglycon (QA), quercetin-3,4'-diglucoside (QDG), quercetin-4'-monoglucoside (Q4G), quercetin-3-monoglucoside (Q3G), kaempferol (KMF) and myricetin (MRT) have been evaluated and compared with conventional solvent extraction. Microwave extraction offers important advantages like shorter extraction time (23min), cleaner feature (no solvent or water used) and extraction of valuable onion crude juice retaining fresh organoleptic properties with higher phenolic content (58.29mgGAE/gDW) at optimized power (500W). Microwave extraction resulted significant yield (81.5%) with 41.9% of flavonol contents, with better retain of remaining flavonoids (55.9%) in residues of onions. QDG (239.7mg/100gDW) and Q4G (82.55mg/100gDW) have been reported the main flavonol in this study. Minor quantities of QA (traces), Q3G (4.22mg/100gDW) and KMF (3.99mg/100gDW) were also detected in microwave onion extracts.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification*
  • Chemical Fractionation / instrumentation
  • Chemical Fractionation / methods*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification*
  • Microwaves
  • Onions / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification*


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts