Chemical and enzymatic hydrolysis fo anthraquinone glycosides from madder roots

G.C.H. Derksen, M. Naayer, T.A. van Beek, A. Capelle, I.K. Haaksman, H.A. Doren, Æ. de Groot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


For the production of a commercially useful dye extract from madder, the glycoside ruberythric acid has to be hydrolysed to the aglycone alizarin which is the main dye component. An intrinsic problem is the simultaneous hydrolysis of the glycoside lucidin primeveroside to the unwanted mutagenic aglycone lucidin. Madder root was treated with strong acid, strong base or enzymes to convert ruberythric acid into alizarin and the anthraquinone compositions of the suspensions were analysed by HPLC. A cheap and easy method to hydrolyse ruberythric acid in madder root to alizarin without the formation of lucidin turned out to be the stirring of dried madder roots in water at room temperature for 90 min: this gave a suspension containing pseudopurpurin, munjistin, alizarin and nordamnacanthal. Native enzymes are responsible for the hydrolysis, after which lucidin is converted to nordamnacanthal by an endogenous oxidase
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
JournalPhytochemical Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • rubia-tinctorum l
  • alcoholic aroma formation
  • tea leaves
  • hydroxyanthraquinones
  • primeverosidase
  • mutagenicity
  • genotoxicity
  • derivatives
  • extracts
  • lucidin


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