Significant progress has been made in extracting high-purity anthocyanins from black corn cobs

Release time:

06 Nov,2023

Northeast Forestry University has made significant progress in extracting anthocyanins from black corn cobs, with the highest purity of anthocyanin powder reaching 77%.

Corn is the food crop with the widest planting area and highest yield in the world. Black corn appears purple or black due to the presence of anthocyanins in the stratum corneum of its grains. Black corn is grown in provinces such as Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia in China. Every year, a large number of black corn cobs are discarded as agricultural waste.

In order to turn waste into treasure and create high value-added green products, Professor Shi Baoli's team from the School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Resource Utilization of Northeast Forestry University has successfully extracted anthocyanins from black corn cobs through four years of research and development, utilizing various membrane separation combination technologies. According to the NY/T 2640-2014 industry testing standard released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the average content of anthocyanins (non anthocyanins) in this product is 66%, with a maximum purity of 77%. Previously, the purity of commercially sold anthocyanin powder was generally around 20% to 40%.

Anthocyanins have various health benefits such as antioxidant properties and maintaining visual health. Previously, anthocyanins were mostly extracted from berries such as blueberries, which had high extraction costs, low purity, and high prices.

According to Professor Shi Baoli, the team has independently designed multiple equipment such as ultrafiltration membrane separation devices and established a pilot production line. The technology extraction cost is low, the product purity is high, and more people can enjoy anthocyanin products. At present, in addition to high-purity anthocyanin powder, the team has developed downstream products such as anthocyanin capsules, tablets, and jellies.