Sustainable extraction of proteins and bioactive substances from pomegranate peel (Punica granatum L.) using pressurized liquids and deep eutectic solvents


Pomegranate peel is a source of proteins, bioactive peptides, and phenolic compounds. The simultaneous extraction of these compounds required the use of polluting solvents and reagents that are non-suitable. This work targets the development of green methodologies based on pressurized liquids (PLE) or deep eutectic solvents (DES) for the extraction of these compounds. Extracts were digested with different proteolytic enzymes and different functionalities (antioxidant, hypocholesterolemia, and antihypertensive capacities) were evaluated. Highly antioxidant and hypocholesterolemic extracts and hydrolysates were obtained using PLE while high antihypertensive capacity was observed in the hydrolysates from proteins extracted using DES. Peptides and polyphenols were identified by HPLC-ESI-Q-TOF/MS. Higher amounts of peptides were shown in hydrolysates from DES extracts while hydrolysates from PLE extracts presented higher amounts of phenolic compounds. Some peptides were assigned to proteins from Punica granatum. Both green methods improved the extraction of bioactive compounds from pomegranate peel compared to the non-sustainable method.