Enrichment of Quercetin from Winemaking Residual Diatomaceous Earth via a Tailor-Made Imprinted Adsorbent uri icon


  • Residual diatomaceous earth (RDE) from winemaking activities is a rich and currently underexploited source of phenolic compounds which ought to be recycled from the perspective of circular bioeconomy. In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for the enrichment of quercetin, a flavonoid at a fairly high content in residual diatomaceous earth. These MIPs were synthesized through free radical polymerization. FTIR confirmed the integration of the functional monomers into the polymeric chains. Batch adsorption experiments were used to assess the retention and selectivity of those MIPs towards quercetin. Commercial resins were compared with the synthesized materials using the same procedures. These adsorption experiments allowed the selection of the best performing MIP for the valorization of RDE extract. This treatment consisted of saturating the selected MIP with the extract and then desorbing the retained compounds using solvents of selected compositions. The desorbed fractions were analyzed using liquid chromatography, and the results demonstrated an increase in quercetin’s fractional area from 5% in the RDE extract to more than 40% in some fractions, which is roughly an eightfold enrichment of quercetin. Moreover, other flavonoids of close chemical structure to quercetin have been rather retained and enriched by the MIP.
  • This work was funded by “BacchusTech–Integrated Approach for the Valorization of Winemaking Residues” (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-069583), supported by the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program (COMPETE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

publication date

  • September 2022