Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Sponsor Name

Wei Zhou

Disciplines

Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Piper Methysticum, or Kava, is a plant native to the Pacific Islands and is used in various ceremonial and cultural aspects. In the United States, Kava has many dietary forms from sleep aids to mood boosters. The active ingredients found in Kava roots, kavalactones, give users psychoactive effects. However, there are concerns regarding toxicity and unknown safety consumption limits. There are six major kavalactones, and possibly more that have been reported, but not fully researched. The one of interest in this study is kavain. Different solvents, diethyl ether and acetone, have been used in extracting kavalactones from cut kava root. Utilizing GC-MS, an elution process of 20 minutes has been developed to separate the major compounds. The chromatograms from acetone extract gave clearer peaks kavain at retention time of 13.5 minutes. Standard solutions of kavain from 25-500ppm in acetone are being used to construct a calibration curve at optimized conditions for GC-MS parameters. Quantitative measurements of kavain will be performed to calculate their concentrations in different kava samples including dietary kava tea, kava sleeping pills, and kava root extract. This quantitative analysis of kavalactones will help consumers make informed decisions on their daily intake.

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Analysis of Kavalactones in Various Consumptive Kava Samples using GC-MS

Piper Methysticum, or Kava, is a plant native to the Pacific Islands and is used in various ceremonial and cultural aspects. In the United States, Kava has many dietary forms from sleep aids to mood boosters. The active ingredients found in Kava roots, kavalactones, give users psychoactive effects. However, there are concerns regarding toxicity and unknown safety consumption limits. There are six major kavalactones, and possibly more that have been reported, but not fully researched. The one of interest in this study is kavain. Different solvents, diethyl ether and acetone, have been used in extracting kavalactones from cut kava root. Utilizing GC-MS, an elution process of 20 minutes has been developed to separate the major compounds. The chromatograms from acetone extract gave clearer peaks kavain at retention time of 13.5 minutes. Standard solutions of kavain from 25-500ppm in acetone are being used to construct a calibration curve at optimized conditions for GC-MS parameters. Quantitative measurements of kavain will be performed to calculate their concentrations in different kava samples including dietary kava tea, kava sleeping pills, and kava root extract. This quantitative analysis of kavalactones will help consumers make informed decisions on their daily intake.

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