Sustainable extraction of ligustilide and ferulic acid from Angelicae Sinensis Radix, for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities

Ultrason Sonochem. 2023 Mar:94:106344. doi: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2023.106344. Epub 2023 Feb 24.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development envisions a rational use of energy and resources in all technological processes. However, in the extraction methods of compounds from medicinal plants and herbs, there is an urgent to reduce the use of organic solvents and increase the energy efficiency of these methods. Therefore, a sustainable extraction method (enzyme and ultrasonic co-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction, EUA-ATPE) of simultaneous extraction and separation of ferulic acid and ligustilide from Angelicae Sinensis Radix (ASR) was developed by integrating enzyme-assisted extraction (EAE) with ultrasonic-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction (UAE- ATPE). The effects of different enzymes, extraction temperature, pH, ultrasonic time, liquid-to-materials ratio, etc., were optimized by single-factor experiments and central composite design (CCD). Under the optimum conditions, the highest comprehensive evaluation value (CEV) and extraction yield were obtained by EUA-ATPE. Furthermore, recovery (R), partition coefficient (K), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis revealed that enzyme and ultrasonic treatment improved mass transfer diffusion and increased the degree of cell disruption. Besides, the EUA-ATPE extracts have shown great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. Finally, compared to different extraction methods, EUA-ATPE achieved higher extraction efficiency and higher energy efficiency due to the synergistic effect between EAE and UAE-ATPE. Therefore, the EUA-ATPE provides a sustainable method for extracting bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and herbs, contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including SDG-6, SDG-7, SDG-9, SDG-12, and SDG-15.

Keywords: Angelicae Sinensis Radix; Central composite design; Comprehensive evaluation value; Energy efficiency; Enzyme and ultrasonic co-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction; Process innovation.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts* / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts* / pharmacology


  • ligustilide
  • Plant Extracts
  • Antioxidants
  • ferulic acid
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents