Rapid and effective isolation of bioactive constituents from Greek Fabaceae plants with counter-current chromatography (CCC) approaches.

The analysis of extracts of Vicia faba, Lotus logisiliquosus, Tetragonolobus purpureus and Genista halacsyi took place by off line coupling of CCC technique with sephadex column or preparative HPLC. In the case of Lotus edulis, Lathyrus laxiflorus, and Genista hassertiana was achieved the direct isolation of active compounds (flavonoids, isoflavones and phenolic acids) from the complex extract using dual mode or gradient mode CCC. Fabaceae family contains plants that are characterized by significant biological activities. The main edible plants of this family constitute an important part of the Mediterranean diet and contain secondary metabolites with considerable estrogenic, antioxidant and chemo preventing activity [1]. Recent years CCC has become a method of choice in separation and purification of natural products. The advantage of this method is the ability to separate substances from large volume of crude and complex extracts which is crucial in further analysis as far as identification and biological control activity [2, 3]. In this study we demonstrate the application of CCC as a main separation technique in the phytochemical analysis of seven active extracts of Greek Fabaceae species.


It is worth noting that the phytochemical analysis of Lotus logisiliquosus, Tetragonolobus purpureus and Genista hassertiana is presented for the first time.The purity and identity of isolated compounds was confirmed by NMR and HRMS spectroscopy. In conclusion, it is clearly indicated that counter-current chromatography is a valuable technique and was successfully employed for rapid and effective separation of natural compounds from crude active extracts of Fabaceae plants.

1) Chrysoula Spanou et al (2008) J. Agric. Food Chem., 56, 6967–6976

2) Alain Bertoth et al. (2009) Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 81, No. 2, pp. 355–387

3) Ian A. Sutherland et al. (2009) Journal of Chromatography A, 1216, 740–753