Background: Active principles from natural sources, in the form of extracts and natural compounds, provide an infinite number of bioactive compounds with consummate disposal of chemical diversity. These compounds and active principles are of utmost importance in the discovery of drugs of biological origin particularly, from plants.
Objective: Development of resourceful technology for the isolation and extraction of bioactive compounds of medicinal importance is considered as an important task for researchers. There are a number of extraction, isolation, and characterization techniques currently utilized; however, most are laborious and use toxic chemicals and huge quantities of raw materials with a very low output. There are a number of abiotic and biotic factors that affects the quality and the quantity of plants bioactive compounds. Considering this the objectives of the current review is to discuss the various extraction and characterization techniques used to isolate the essential bioactive compounds from three plant species and the biotic and abiotic factors that affects the quantity and quality of the plants secondary metabolites.
Methods: Many advanced technologies have been developed and tested for extraction, characterization, and their capacity for high yield products, and those requiring less application of toxic solvents are investigated continuously.
Conclusion: In this context, the present review summarizes the different types of extraction and characterization techniques utilized commercially by the food, drug, and pharmaceutical industries for better output and environmentally- and healthbenefiting products with special reference to three industrially important plants: Leonotis leonurus (L.) R.Br. (Lamiaceae) and Santalum album L. (Santalaceae) and Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Aloaceae or Asphodelaceae).
Keywords: Aloe vera; Leonotis leonurus; Santalum album.; bioactive compounds; extraction process; neutraceuticals.
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