Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #233328

Title: Influence of sample preparation on the assay of isoflavones

item Luthria, Devanand - Dave
item Natarajan, Savithiry - Savi

Submitted to: Planta Medica
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/9/2009
Publication Date: 6/10/2009
Citation: Luthria, D.L., Natarajan, S.S. 2009. Influence of sample preparation on the assay of isoflavones. Planta Medica. 75:704-710.

Interpretive Summary: This publication summarizes the influence of different extraction procedures used for the assay of phytochemicals using isoflavones as a model substrate. Isoflavones are chemically similar in structure to the female hormone estrogen and are widely distributed in different foods. Isoflavones are believed to provide protection against incidences of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancers. The quantities of isoflavones present in foods are influenced by genotype, storage, processing, and environmental conditions. This manuscript evaluates the influence of different extraction techniques and solvent composition, on the amount of isoflavones extracted from different plant matrices. Optimization of different sample preparation parameters will allow researchers to accurately quantify the amount of isoflavones present in different matrices. Accurate estimation of isoflavones will enable researchers to correctly evaluate their role as it relates to health and provide precise dietary and safety guidelines on consumption of isoflavones.

Technical Abstract: The complexity of sample matrices, coexistence of multiple forms of bioactive phytochemicals, and their interaction of with other cellular components pose a significant challenge for optimize extraction and accurate estimation of bioactive phytochemicals in foods and dietary supplements. This article discusses the significance of optimizing extraction procedures for accurate assay of phytochemicals from different matrices using bioactive isoflavones as a model substrate. Consumption of isoflavone enriched foods such as tofu, miso, natto, and whole soybeans has been associated with reducing the risk of osteoporosis, incidences of hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancers. These health promoting properties of isoflavones may be due to their estrogenic and/or antioxidant activities. Isoflavones are known to exist in nature as free aglycons or as conjugates with sugars and/or acids. The wide structural diversity and polarities of free and conjugated isoflavones makes optimum extraction and accurate quantification of isoflavones a challenging task. This paper reviews the different variables that influence quantitative extraction of isoflavones from different matrices. Optimizing procedures for the extraction of isoflavones and other bioactive phytochemicals from foods and plants will allow researchers and regulators to accurately quantify bioactive phytochemicals in different plant matrices. This will enable researchers to provide more precise guidelines on dietary intake and safety levels necessary to achieve optimum health.