Alessandra Bertoli, Barbara Ruffoni, Laura Pistelli, Luisa Pistelli, Analytical Methods for the Extraction and Identification of Secondary Metabolite Production in ‘In Vitro’ Plant Cell Cultures. Bio-Farms for Nutraceuticals Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Volume 698, 2010, pp 250-266

The production of plant secondary metabolites by in vitro culture is one of the most challenging and thrilling field of recent scientific researches. In the few last years, pharmaceutical and food industry demand in phytochemicals has increased steadily. Therefore, the establishment of in vitro plant protocols has to be monitored by phytochemical investigation of their selected extracts in order to supply standardized raw material. In this chapter, the advantages and disadvantages of some modern techniques have been described for the sampling, extraction and analysis of the in vitro plants and derivatives. Depending on the volatile or nonvolatile substances produced by in vitro plant raw material, différent kinds of laboratory facilities are needed for the extraction and quali-quantitative analysis. Recent extraction technology such as Accelerated Solvent Extraction or Microwave Assisted Extraction in combination with hyphenated techniques such as Gas Chromathography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) represent a modern approach to perform fast and reproducible analytical methods for the quality control of secondary metabolite production in ‘in vitro’ plant material.