Open Access Review

From functional food to medicinal product: Systematic approach in analysis of polyphenolics from propolis and wine

Marica Medić-Šarić1*, Vesna Rastija2, Mirza Bojić1 and Željan Maleš3

Author affiliations

1 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, A. Kovačića 1, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

2 Faculty of Agriculture, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Trg Sv. Trojstva 3, 31000 Osijek, Croatia

3 Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Schrottova 39, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:33  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-33

Published: 22 July 2009


In the last decade we have been working on standardization of propolis extract and determination of active constituents of wine those are rich in polyphenolics and have nutritional as well as therapeutic value. Here we are summarizing our results and providing overview on systematic approach how to analyse natural products rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids.

Chromatographic methods (thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography) were used for identification, quantification, and characterization of individual flavonoid or phenolic acid. Total content of active constituents and antioxidant activity were determined by spectrophotometry. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined by high performance liquid chromatography and using appropriate software. Quantitative structure-activity relationship study of antioxidant activity was conducted, as well as assessment of prolonged propolis supplementation on antioxidative status of organism.

Thin layer chromatography-densitometry has been proven as quick and reliable method for standard analysis of propolis and wine; the best mobile phase being chloroform – methanol – formic acid (98–100%) in ratio 44 : 3.5 : 2.5 (v/v). Higher number of polyphenolics was determined by high performance liquid chromatography; 15 compared to 9 by thin layer chromatography. Interactions in situ with acetylsalicylic acid were detected with most of polyphenolics analysed. Plasma protein binding and blood-barrier penetration was greatest for flavone. The interactions with human serum albumin have been grater than 95% for all flavonoids analysed. The prolonged propolis consumption increased superoxide dismutase activity.

The necessity of standardization of natural products and their registration as functional nutraceuticals demand easy, quick and inexpensive methods of analysis. In this work we provided overview of analytical part for polyphenolics that could be used as data for possible registration of final products either as functional food or medicinal product.

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