CARBON ISOTOPE COMPOSITION AS A TOOL FOR QUALITY CONTROL OF HERBS, SPICES AND MEDICINAL PLANTS
Isotope screening is a simple and cheap test for determining the photosynthetic pathway used by plants. The scope of this work was to classify the photosynthetic type of Melissa officinalis L. and Cymbopogon citratus [DC.] Stapf. through studies of the carbon isotope composition (13C), and we are proposing the use of carbon isotope composition results as a tool to control the quality of medicinal plants. For studies of 13C (13C% = [R (sample)/R (standard) 1] x 10-3), dried, powdered leaves were analyzed in a mass spectrometer coupled with an elemental analyzer for determining the ratio R (R = 13CO2/12CO2). As results, M. officinalis presented a C3 photosynthetic type, and C. citratus presented a C4 photosynthetic type. The carbon isotope composition from this study can be used as quality control of M. officinalis adulterants.
Marchese, J.A., Ming, L.C., Ducatti, C. and da Silva, E.T. (2006). CARBON ISOTOPE COMPOSITION AS A TOOL FOR QUALITY CONTROL OF HERBS, SPICES AND MEDICINAL PLANTS. Acta Hortic. 720, 185-188
botanicals, C3 and C4 plants, isotope discrimination, photosynthesis.