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  • 1 University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
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The microextraction by packed sorbent (MEPS) was applied to a fractionation of cuticular wax extracts from several solanaceous plant species. A procedure developed requires only 0.6 mL of organic solvents and may be completed in less than 10 min. Hydrocarbons, which are frequently used in chemotaxonomy of Solanaceae, were almost exclusively eluted in one fraction. The amounts of most commonly detected polar wax components (alcohols, sterols, triterpenes) in the same fraction were reduced to ca. 34–46% of the total amounts in the whole extract. Despite the contamination of the hydrocarbon fraction with other wax components, the results obtained using MEPS and standard column chromatography on silica gel were similar when compared using cluster analysis based on the hydrocarbon profiles. However, the method was far less successful in removing the sucrose esters from extracts of Nicotiana rustica leaves. Thus, MEPS fractionation of plant cuticular waxes may be a fast and reliable alternative for the standard liquid chromatography techniques as long as no sucrose esters are present in the extract.

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