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N.N. Boyko, PhD; Professor E.T. Zhilyakova, PhD; Professor O.O. Novikov, PhD Pharmacy Research and Education Center, Belgorod State University, Belgorod, Russian Federation

Introduction. The scientific literature focuses on the development of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) extraction technology and on the choice of an extractant for the highest extraction of flavonolignans from the fruits of this plant. However, there is no information obtained from experimental and theoretical studies of a relationship of the phase distribution of extractives and/or biologically active substances for the milk thistle fruits and the extractant. Objective: to conduct an experimental study and to do mathematical modeling of the phase equilibrium distribution of extractives for milk thistle fruits and aqueous ethanol solution. Material and methods. The investigators used crushed milk thistle fruits from 6 Russian and Ukrainian manufacturers, the particle sizes of which was 0.1–0.5 mm; extractant, 70% (v/v) ethanol; plant raw material/extractant ratio, 1:3, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, 1:40, and 1:60; temperatures, 4±1, 18±1, 35±1, and 40±1°С; steeping time, 24 hours. The concentration of extractives in the plant raw material-extractant system was described using a mathematical model based on the sorption laws. Results. The oil content of the raw material was shown to greatly affect its bulk and specific density. According to the sorption concepts, the relative errors for the mean values of the constants found ranged 6–30%. A mathematical model linking the basic parameters of plant raw material and technologies, as well as 3 theoretical constants characterizing the extraction system were proposed. Conclusion. The basic technological and pharmacognostic parameters of milk thistle fruits were found. Using an example of milk thistle fruits in accordance with the sorption concept, the authors proposed and tested the mathematical model to describe the equilibrium distribution of extractives between the cellulose skeleton of the plant raw material and the extractant. The importance of the proposed mathematical model and its constants with 95% probability was shown.

milk thistle
Silybum marianum L.

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