Background: This review aims to present the relevant background information and current research
status in concentration of polyphenols using membrane technologies. The potential implementation of membrane
separation to bioactive compounds like soluble phenolics from aqueous and organic solvent solutions is gaining
increasing interest in the recent years. This review does not pretend to cover the abundant published literature on
the subject, but to be representative for the observed tendencies in membrane processes applications for concentration
of polyphenols derived from natural products. The first part of the article includes general information
regarding the polyphenols and the traditional methods for their separation (such as: thin layer chromatography;
paper chromatography; gas chromatography; high performance liquid chromatography; capillary electrophoresis),
while the second part presents a review of different membrane processes applied for concentration of polyphenols.
Three main sources for such implementations are discussed: (1) aqueous or organic solvent extracts from
plant material, (2) fruits, and (3) recovery of polyphenols from industrial waste liquids. A diversity of membrane
processes are considered in a large scope of implementations ranging from lab-scale studies to pilot and semiindustrial
Conclusion: Membrane technology is an excellent candidate to make a paradigm shift in biological active compounds
fractionation/separation processes. Presented results clearly demonstrate that membrane processes are of
great advantages over traditionally used methods; however, characterization of separated polyphenols has to be
improved. Most of citied authors concentrated their investigation only on the total amount of polyphenols determination.
Exhaustive studies including: antioxidant activities, retention index, total soluble solids, or volume
reduction factor, have been only carried out by a few authors.