Extraction from nutmeg

5 May 2016

The purpose of this experiment was to illustrate the extraction of a solid natural product from its natural source by partition with the aid of an organic solvent. Extraction is the process by which a compound or mixtures of, is transferred by separation from one phase into another.

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In this case, the major triglyceride contains a single fatty acid identified as myristic acid. It is a substituent of the triglyceride called trimyristin, which embodies 20-25% of the dried weight of ground nutmeg we will eventually use in this experiment.

The purpose of this lab is to extract trimyristin from nutmeg with the organic substance, diethyl ether, to evidently produce trimyristin with a small portion of myristicin (solid-liquid extraction). Also, it is good to know that due to impurity the best way purify the product of trimyristin is by recrystallization through hot acetone.



Myristic acid (tetradecanoic acid)

The temperature range should be between 56-57 °C. The organic solvents that were used in the experiment were diethyl ether, methylene chloride and ethyl acetate. It is advised to know that when ethyl acetate and water are mixed, the water will eventually separate into two distinct phases.

Theoretical Yield, Percent Yield and Discussion:

The weight of the product is determined to be 0.78g
The weight of the mixture is determined to be 1.00g

The % yield is then calculated to be 78%
Melting point of product (determined) = 50-51°C


As seen from the discussion on the chemical composition of nutmeg, the most abundant individual compound in nutmeg is trimyristin, it is also evident that my yield percentage was certainly not 100. This is a result of a loss of the samples during the partition process, reflux, as well as recrystallization.

Some excess in residue were probably disregarded. It was also proven that trimyristin is soluble in acetone, the substance we used for recrystallization. The relative abundance of trimyristin in nutmeg makes it a potentially necessary substance to partition.

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