Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Identification of (antioxidative) plants in herbal pharmaceutical preparations and dietary supplements

Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1208:181-99. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1441-8_14.

Author information

  • 1Division of Food, Medicines and Consumer Safety, Section Medicinal Products, Scientific Institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP), Rue Juliette Wytsmanstraat 14, Brussels, 1050, Belgium,


The standard procedures for the identification, authentication, and quality control of medicinal plants and herbs are nowadays limited to pure herbal products. No guidelines or procedures, describing the detection or identification of a targeted plant or herb in pharmaceutical preparations or dietary supplements, can be found. In these products the targeted plant is often present together with other components of herbal or synthetic origin. This chapter describes a strategy for the fast development of a chromatographic fingerprint approach that allows the identification of a targeted plant in herbal preparations and dietary supplements. The strategy consists of a standard chromatographic gradient that is tested for the targeted plant with different extraction solvents and different mobile phases. From the results obtained, the optimal fingerprint is selected. Subsequently the samples are analyzed according to the selected methodological parameters, and the obtained fingerprints can be compared with the one obtained for the pure herbal product or a standard preparation. Calculation of the dissimilarity between these fingerprints will result in a probability of presence of the targeted plant. Optionally mass spectrometry can be used to improve specificity, to confirm identification, or to identify molecules with a potential medicinal or antioxidant activity.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]