Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Interest in the biological functionality of plant natural products, both in plants and in the animals that use and consume them, is fueling new interest in phytochemical research. A key component of this research is the ability to accurately identify and quantitate specific phytochemicals. Today analytical equipment is available that can rapidly separate, unequivocally identify, and accurately quantify phytochemicals from plant materials literally in a matter of minutes. The development of low-cost, high-powered computer systems allowed for the creation of computer-driven bench top chromatography systems that are able to run complicated electronic functions, control gas flow and liquid pumps, perform complicated spectral detection including mass spectrometry and to accumulate, quantitate, and process large amounts of data. To perform natural product analysis, three basic things are needed: an efficient method of extracting the phytochemicals of interest from the raw plant material, a way to separate the various phytochemicals in the extracts, and a method of identifying and quantitating the phytochemicals. This chapter summarizes current techniques for the analysis of soy isoflavones.