Ultrasound-assisted extraction of bioactive compounds from goji berries: Optimization, bioactivity, and intestinal permeability assessment

Food Res Int. 2024 Jul:188:114502. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2024.114502. Epub 2024 May 10.


Lycium barbarum L. berries have a remarkable chemical composition and extensive biological activities, being a valuable component of health and nutraceutical practices. Nevertheless, a deep insight on the intestinal permeation of the pro-healthy bioactive compounds is urgently needed to predict the real effects on human body. This study attempted, for the first time, to optimize the Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction (UAE) of goji berries using a Response Surface Methodology approach and establish the intestinal permeation of the principal pro-healthy compounds. The optimal extraction conditions were a solid:liquid ratio of 8.75 % for 56.21 min, using an intensity of 59.05 W/m2. The optimal extract displayed a remarkable antioxidant capacity, with LC/DAD-ESI-MS analysis unveiled a diverse phytochemical profile, encompassing different compounds (e.g. glu-lycibarbarspermidine F, 2-glu-kukoamine, rutin, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid). The intestinal co-culture model demonstrated that glu-lycibarbarspermidine F (isomer 2) (73.70 %), 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (52.66 %), and isorhamnetin-3-O-rutinoside (49.31 %) traversed the intestinal cell layer, exerting beneficial health-promoting effects.

Keywords: Intestinal permeation; Lycium barbarum; Phenolic compounds; Response surface methodology; Ultrasound-assisted extraction.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants* / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Fruit* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Barrier Function
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Lycium* / chemistry
  • Permeability
  • Phytochemicals / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts* / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts* / pharmacology
  • Rutin / isolation & purification
  • Ultrasonic Waves
  • Ultrasonics / methods


  • Plant Extracts
  • Antioxidants
  • Phytochemicals
  • Rutin