Velvet antler (VA) is a historically traditional medicinal supplement and is well known in Asian countries for its pharmaceutical and health benefits. The objectives for this study were to optimize the hot water extraction (HWE) of VA for the Korean VA industry, and to determine the most effective pretreatment method among microwave (MW), ultrasonication (US), and enzymatic (EZ) techniques. Using response surface methodology, optimum extraction temperatures and times were determined by central composite design configuration based on extraction yield and sialic acid content. Various quality parameters of VA extract including yield, soluble solid, protein, and sialic acid contents were also compared with the conjunction of HWE and pretreatment. The yield and sialic acid content of VA extract were determined to be 40% and 0.73 mg/g, respectively, under an optimum temperature of 100°C at 24 h of extraction time. The yields from VA extracts pretreated with MW, US, and EZ were 17.42%, 19.73%, and 29.15%, respectively. Among the tested commercial enzymes, pepsin was the most effective proteolytic enzyme and led to the highest yield (47.65%), soluble solids (4.03 °brix), protein (1.12 mg/ml), and sialic acid (3.04 mg/ml) contents from VA extract.
Keywords: Cervus canadensis Erxleben; Velvet antler; response surface methodology; sialic acid.