Rapid purification of gram quantities of β-sitosterol from a commercial phytosterol mixture
Institute of Biological Chemistry and M.J. Murdock Metabolomics Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
BMC Research Notes 2014, 7:182 doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-182Published: 27 March 2014
β-Sitosterol, a plant sterol or phytosterol, has commercial uses in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, but is also employed frequently in biological research. Phytosterols always accumulate as mixtures, and obtaining highly pure β-sitosterol in larger quantities for biological assays has been a challenge.
An improved method for the rapid purification of β-sitosterol from a commercial phytosterol extract is presented. Fractional crystallization of soybean oil yielded a soluble and an insoluble fraction. β-Sitosterol was purified by silica gel and Na-Y zeolite chromatography.
The rapid and cost effective three-step purification described here afforded β-sitosterol in gram quantities with high purity (>92%) and yield (>22%).