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Extraction and purification of phenolics from star anise

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Shivangi, Shahzia Khan and Shlini, P.

Star anise (Illicium verum) is an aromatic evergreen tree bearing purple-red flowers and anise-scented star-shaped fruit. It grows almost exclusively in Southern China and Vietnam. It’s fruit is an important traditional Chinese medicine as well as a commonly used spice. It carry chemical compounds that have known to be antioxidants and have disease preventing and health promoting properties. It's application is in many traditional medicines such as antispasmodic, digestive stimulant and toxic agent. The main objective of the work is to characterize star anise to assess the presence of its vital phenolic components with medicinal properties. Star anise was extracted using different solvents such as aqueous, buffer and organic solvents to estimate the presence of phenols, proteins and carbohydrate. It was observed that the organic solvent extracts of red star anise in acetone and methanol gave a maximum yield when compared to other extracts and also black star anise. Further the phenolic components were purified by adsorption column chromatography and it was found that the methanol extract of red star anise contained higher amounts of phenolics. The presence of phenols was confirmed by thin layer chromatography which showed that the acetone and methanol extract of both the red and black star anise contained higher concentration of phenols compared to other extracts. Further, methanolic extracts were partially purified by column chromatography and the eluents from it were characterized on thin layer chromatography.

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