Alkaloids are a category of organic compounds which contain nitrogen atoms. However, this group of compounds is also inclusive of other compounds which are not strong enough in terms of their acidic properties. Alkaloids are categorized by the structural diversity they have. Interestingly alkaloids are extracted from various natural plants. The plants which have a longer life, give out maximum quantity of alkaloids.
One such plant which is very famous for providing alkaloids is kratom. It is a tropical plant which grows in Southeast Asian countries. It is a very controversial herb since it has no backing of any medical evidence which can support it as a medical drug. Kratom leaves have a special alkaloid known as mitragynine.
When it comes to extracting alkaloids, scientists tend to use different plants in different ways. For instance if you want to extract alkaloids from kratom you can get kratom crazy super green strain for the test.
What is the HPLC machine and how does it work?
HPLC machine has a long history of extracting alkaloids from plants. HPLC stands for high-performance liquid chromatography. It is an analytical technique which is applied to separate, quantify and identify the different components which are available in a mixture. This technique is one of its kind and used widely across the globe in different laboratories.
It has a simple mechanism behind its working. The machine has a high pressure which can go up to 400 atmospheres. A pump is responsible for forcing the solvent through column of high pressure. The column packing houses all the solid particles and materials which are to be separated. As compared to the traditional chromatography, the pressure in this machine makes things work faster. Once the pressure is released, the large and small particles get separated, hence causing separation.
How can HPLC detect alkaloids?
One of the primary functions of the HPLC machine is to detect and identify the different compounds in a mixture. So for instance when you put kratom mixture in the machine, it will start detecting the alkaloids available in the plant and separate it. However, keep in mind there are different types of HPLC machines available in the market with each one of them having a different property. The kind of outcomes scientists want from the experiment depends on the type of machine which is being used.
The most commonly used HPLC is the normal phase one. Its column is filled with silica particles, and it has an internal diameter of 4.6 mm. Compounds which are non-polar easily pass through the column. The other one is the reversed-phase HPLC machine. This time the column is again filled with silica particles but ones which are already modified to become non-polar. However this time, a mixture of water and the other compound being tested is used to separate the components at the end of the experiment. Once the work is done, the machine detects the alkaloids and other organic compounds which are available.