In addition an unusually large number of review articles and commentaries (~60) has been published on this subject covering various aspects of microwave-assisted synthesis .
There various methods adopted in synthetic organic chemistry including microwave assisted synthesis, sonochemistry and green chemistry. Applications of all microwaves in the synthesis of chemical moieties which are biologically active have been discussed with a short briefing of advantages of these techniques over the conventional approaches.
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The microwave-assisted extraction is also considered as a novel method for extracting soluble products into a fluid from a wide range of materials using microwave energy. Natural bioactive compounds are produced as secondary metabolites; include a broad diversity of structures and functionalities. Some of those compounds can be found in nature at high concentration such as polyphenols but others can only be found at very low levels, so that massive harvesting is needed to obtain sufficient amounts, and their structural diversity and complexity make chemical synthesis unprofitable. The inherent difficulties in screening and producing these compounds have led to the development of advanced technologies. The commonly used methods for their extraction are the conventional liquid–liquid or solid–liquid extraction and the advanced include pressurized-liquid extraction, subcritical and supercritical extractions, and microwave- and ultrasound-assisted extractions. These new technologies could provide in the next few years an innovative approach to increase the production of specific compounds for use as nutraceuticals or as ingredients in the design of functional foods. Advantages of microwave heating compared to conventional processing methods include energy-saving rapid heating rates and short processing times, deep penetration of the microwave energy (which allows heat to be generated efficiently without directly contacting the work-piece), instantaneous and precise electronic control, clean heating processes, and no generation of secondary waste. Microwave energy processes for heating, drying, and curing have been developed for numerous laboratory-scale investigations and, in some cases, have been commercialized. MAE is also recognized as a green technology because it reduces the use of organic solvent. This review is aimed to discuss this extraction technique along with their basic mechanism for extracting bioactive compounds from plant matrix.
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To illustrate the impact microwave assisted organic synthesis can have on chemical research, case studies drawn mainly from the pharmaceutical industry are presented.