CHROMATOGRAPHIC FINGERPRINTING AS A MEANS OF QUALITY CONTROL: DISTINCTION BETWEEN ACTAEA RACEMOSA AND FOUR DIFFERENT ACTAEA SPECIES
Over the past decade, manufacturers have increasingly focused on the issue of quality, and standardization in particular, as the key feature differentiating otherwise generic herbal products. Marketing campaigns have emphasized the use of modern scientific techniques to ensure that products contain specified amounts of marker compounds, asserting that this process of standardization guarantees identity, safety, efficacy and stability. For the vast majority of botanicals, however, it is impossible to determine potency measuring such marker compounds, since the active principles have neither been conclusively identified nor can they be accurately measured. In order to overcome this issue, some manufacturers have attempted to measure a herbal product as a whole. The evaluation of a product in its entirety, so-called fingerprinting can be accomplished by appropriate methods, which may include HPLC-UV(DAD), HPLC-ELSD, HPLC-MS, GC-MS, HPTLC-densitometry, FT-NIR, high-field NMR or a combination of these techniques. The usefulness of fingerprinting is especially evident in the quality control of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.), which has reportedly been adulterated with other Actaea species, mostly imported from China. The majority of the triterpene glycosides of A. racemosa occur in several other Actaea species, therefore, an identification procedure based on a few marker compounds may not be enough to rule out every adulterant. We have compared the HPLC-UV, HPLC-MS, HPLC-ELSD and HPTLC fingerprints of five Actaea species (A. racemosa, A. rubra, A. pachypoda, A. podocarpa and a Chinese Actaea species). While the distinction between black cohosh and the other Actaea species was difficult using HPLC-UV or HPTLC, a marked difference was observed in the HPLC-MS and HPLC-ELSD fingerprints. Interestingly, the chromatography traces of A. rubra and A. pachypoda were so similar that none of the techniques allowed distinguishing the two species.
Gafner, S., Sudberg, S., Sudberg, E.M., Villinski, J.R., Gauthier, R. and Bergeron, C. (2006). CHROMATOGRAPHIC FINGERPRINTING AS A MEANS OF QUALITY CONTROL: DISTINCTION BETWEEN ACTAEA RACEMOSA AND FOUR DIFFERENT ACTAEA SPECIES. Acta Hortic. 720, 83-94
Cimicifuga racemosa, fingerprinting, high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC),.