Optimization of high hydrostatic pressure assisted extraction of stinging nettle leaves using response surface methodology experimental design

Sílvia A. Moreira, Manuela E. Pintado, Jorge A. Saraiva*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


High hydrostatic pressure assisted extraction (HPE) is a very promising extraction methodology since it can operate at room temperature and therefore can avoid heat-sensitive compounds changes. Furthermore, it is recognized as a fast technology (only a few minutes) and it is also an already proven environmentally friendly technology. This is the first work to study HPE effect as a new extraction method to obtain improved extracts from stinging nettle, a commonly known weed, traditionally used as folk medicine and with several biological properties proven scientifically. In this work, the HPE process was optimized by an experimental design via response surface methodology using a central composite face-centered design. The effect of pressure level, extraction time, and solvent concentration were evaluated, as also the impact of HPE on total phenolics (TPC), flavonoids, pigments, and antioxidant activity. Results showed that experimental data could be well fitted to second-order polynomial mathematical models, since lack-of-fit values were non-significant and the regression coefficients were above 75%. The optimal conditions for the overall maximization of extraction yield, TPC and antioxidant activity were 200 MPa, 10.2–15.6 min, and 0% ethanol (aqueous extracts), which were tested in a further experiment confirming the predictability of all models (difference by percentage between predicted and experimental optimum were all below 10%. When compared to extraction at atmospheric pressure, HPE allowed increasing the extraction yield about 50.5%; TPC about 84.4%; and antioxidant activity about 77.7%. All the models fitted well the experimental data, being the observed values close to the predicted ones by the model equation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2773-2780
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Food Measurement and Characterization
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Antioxidant activity
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Extraction optimization
  • High-pressure extraction
  • Response surface methodology


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