Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Feng Chen

Committee Member

Dr. Gregory Batt

Committee Member

Dr. Elliot Jesch


For centuries, natural products, such as plants, have been used for the prevention and treatment of diseases and ailments. Modern science is now working to identify the beneficial compounds from these sources to implement into pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins or supplements in an area of study called nutraceuticals. The plant Oplopanax horridus, or Devil's Club is a member of the ginseng family and has over 30 documented uses for spiritual and medicinal purposes. The few studies that have been carried out on this plant are limited to the volatile chemicals present. Few studies have determined the plant possesses antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties but without confirmation of the chemical compounds responsible for these properties. The purpose of this study was to fractionate compounds from a crude sample of Oplopanax horridus by solid phase extraction (SPE) with the assistance of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). These fractions were subjected to antioxidant testing where bioactivity guided further fractionation and analysis by mass spectrometry (MS). The data collected from the mass spectrophotometer was used to propose the chemical compounds present in the antioxidant active samples.

Successful separation of natural products was completed by Soxhlet extraction, liquid-liquid extraction, SPE, and HPLC. Three sample sub-fractions were found to be bioactive after the assessment of antioxidant activity with two variations of assays. Mass spectrum data produced ion chromatograms that were useful in the prediction of chemical structures.



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