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Response surface methodology was applied to optimize the trienzyme digestion for the extraction of folate from vegetables. Trienzyme extraction is a combined enzymatic digestion by protease, alpha-amylase, and conjugase (gamma-glutamyl hydrolase) to liberate the carbohydrate and protein-bound folates from food matrices for total folate analysis. It is the extraction method used in AOAC Official Method 2004.05 for assay of total folate in cereal grain products. Certified reference material (CRM) 485 mixed vegetables was used to represent the matrix of vegetables. Regression and ridge analysis were performed by statistical analysis software. The predicted second-order polynomial model was adequate (R2 = 0.947), without significant lack of fit (p > 0.1). Both protease and alpha-amylase have significant effects on the extraction. Ridge analysis gave an optimum trienzyme digestion time: Pronase, 1.5 h; alpha-amylase, 1.5 h; and conjugase, 3 h. The experimental value for CRM 485 under this optimum digestion was close to the predicted value from the model, confirming the validity and adequacy of the model. The optimized trienzyme digestion condition was applied to five vegetables and yielded higher folate levels than the trienzyme digestion parameters employed in AOAC Official Method 2004.05.


Liwen Chen, Ronald R Eitenmiller. Optimization of the trienzyme extraction for the microbiological assay of folate in vegetables. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2007 May 16;55(10):3884-8

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PMID: 17439143

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