Extraction of Trimyristin

Trimyristin is an ester with the chemical formula C45H86O6 that can be isolated from the common spice nutmeg. The seed of the evergreen trees in the genus Myristica Fragrans is what nutmeg is obtained from. Trimyristin is the triglyceride of myristic acid also known as saturated fat (3). The phase of trimyristin is solid and is only found soluble in dichloromethane, chloroform, ether, benzene, and ethanol (1). Only twenty to twenty-five percent of trimyristin makes up the mass of nutmeg and it is formed from the glycerol and saturated carboxylic acid (2).

Like most extractions, isolating trimyristin is complex considering a variety of products are extracted in the solvent. * Method: * Extraction of Trimyristin: First the sand bath was set to about 40o C. In the meantime 1. 00g of ground nutmeg was weighed out and transferred to a 25mL round bottom flask. Then 10 mL of methylene chloride and 2 boiling chips were added to the round bottom flask. The round bottom flask was then connected to an air condenser and lowered onto the sand bath.

The solution was allowed to boil gently for 30 minutes until it was removed and set aside to cool. After it cooled the nutmeg residue was filtered from the methylene chloride using a Hirsch funnel containing a methylene chloride moistened filter paper. A minimal amount of methylene chloride was then used to wash any excess residue out of the round bottom flask and into the filter. The filtrate was then transferred into a clean, dry, and tarred Erlenmeyer flask.

The Erlenmeyer flask was then placed on a hot plate set between 50oC to 100oC inside the fume hood until the solvent evaporated into a yellowish oily solid. The solid that remained was then weighed. * Recrystallization of Trimyristin: Acetone was added in 1mL portions to the Erlenmeyer flask that contained the solid. During the same time, the flask was warmed on a sand bath in order to dissolve the solid. Then it was allowed to slowly cool to room temperature and placed into an ice bath for 10 minutes.

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The crystals were collected by vacuum filtration and were allowed to dry. * Analysis: After the crystals were dry the solid was weighed and then the melting point was determined using a Melt-Temp machine. * Results: Lab Components| Mass (g)| Volume (mL)| Nutmeg| 1. 00g| –| Flask and Testube| 83. 47g| –| Flask, Testube, and Filtrate (initial)| 90. 54g| –| Filtrate (initial)| 7. 07g| –| Erlenmeyer Flask| 74. 14g| –| Erlenmeyer flask and Filtrate (final)| 74. 41g| –|

Filtrate (final)| 0. 26g| –| Acetone| –| 1. 00mL| * These results show all the measurements that were taken from everything used in order to determine the analysis of the trimyristin extracted which is shown below. * Analysis: Weight of Trimyristin| 0. 1g| Melting Point of Trimyristin| 53. 2oC – 54. 3oC| % of Trimyristin extracted| 10%| * Conclusion: During this experiment methods of vacuum filtration and recrystallization were used to extract trimyristin from the spice nutmeg.

When trimyristin was successfully extracted there was a low percentage (10%) of the amount extracted but it had a melting point that was almost exact to the actual melting point of trimyristin which is 53oC-54oC. The experiment was performed successfully for the most part, disregarding a few minor mistakes made in the procedure. These mistakes didn’t interfere with the outcome of the experiment but could have improved the performance of it. For instance, it took a long time for the solvent to evaporate because the hot plate was set at too low of a temperature.

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