In recent years, the interest in the health-promoting effects of hop prenylflavonoids, especially its estrogenic effects, has grown. Unfortunately, one of the most potent phytoestrogens identified so far, 8-prenylnaringenin, is only a minor component of hops, so its isolation from hop materials for the production of estrogenically active food supplements has proved to be problematic. The aim of this study was to optimize the conditions (e.g., temperature, the length of the process and the amount of the catalyst) to produce 8-prenylnaringenin-rich material by the magnesium oxide-catalyzed thermal isomerization of desmethylxanthohumol. Under these optimized conditions, the yield of 8-prenylnaringenin was 29 mg per 100 gDW of product, corresponding to a >70% increase in its content relative to the starting material. This process may be applied in the production of functional foods or food supplements rich in 8-prenylnaringenin, which may then be utilized in therapeutic agents to help alleviate the symptoms of menopausal disorders.
Keywords: 8-prenylnaringenin; desmethylxanthohumol; estrogenic activity; hop; phytoestrogens; prenylflavonoids.