The Antioxidant and Enzyme Inhibitory Activity of Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) Bark Solvent Extracts and Pyrolysis Oil


Wang, Z., Cáceres, L.A., Hossain, M.M., Abdallah, S.B., Ogbeide, O., Yao, Z., Renaud, J.B., Scott, I.M. (2019). The Antioxidant and Enzyme Inhibitory Activity of Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) Bark Solvent Extracts and Pyrolysis Oil. Waste Biomass Valorization, [online] 10(11), 3295-3306.

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This published article provides findings on the comparison of methods to extract valuable bioactive compounds from wood biomass for use as biopesticides and anti-oxidants. The objectives were to compare solvent extraction, super-critical fluid extraction and pyrolysis of balsam fir bark in terms of the separation capacity, the biological activity of the resulting materials and the identity of compounds in the most active materials.The findings indicate that pyrolysis maybe useful for separation of compounds with antioxidants, oxygen
radicle scavengers and enzyme inhibitors for medicinal and insecticidal applications. This is useful information for the forestry industry as new products can acquired from waste material. Future work will identify other compounds in the pyrolysis bio-oil.


Wood waste from forestry practices offers an inexpensive source of biomass that can be converted into bioenergy, fuels and value-added chemicals. Balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) bark offers a source of bioactive natural products, such as lignans, separated through solvent extraction (SE). The objectives of the research were: (1) to compare traditional solvent with supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and slow pyrolysis processes to separate and convert chemicals from the bark and (2) to assess the biological activity of the extracts and pyrolysis oils. In vitro biochemical assays were used to measure antioxidant and oxygen radical-scavenging abilities, and glutathione S-transferase and esterase enzyme inhibition. The pyrolysis oil had similar anti-oxidant, radical-scavenging ability and enzyme inhibitory activity to the SE and SFE extracts. Fractionation and mass spectrometry identified catechol and p-coumaryl alcohol in the organic phase of pyrolysis oil. The small phenolic compounds identified offer starting materials for pharmaceutical or insecticide synergist application.

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