Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis

Profiling and multivariate statistical analysis of Panax ginseng based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

PMID 25590943


An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-TOF-MS) method was developed for the detection and structural analysis of ginsenosides in white ginseng and related processed products (red ginseng). Original neutral, malonyl, and chemically transformed ginsenosides were identified in white and red ginseng samples. The aglycone types of ginsenosides were determined by MS/MS as PPD (m/z 459), PPT (m/z 475), C-24, -25 hydrated-PPD or PPT (m/z 477 or m/z 493), and Δ20(21)-or Δ20(22)-dehydrated-PPD or PPT (m/z 441 or m/z 457). Following the structural determination, the UHPLC-Q-TOF-MS-based chemical profiling coupled with multivariate statistical analysis method was applied for global analysis of white and processed ginseng samples. The chemical markers present between the processed products red ginseng and white ginseng could be assigned. Process-mediated chemical changes were recognized as the hydrolysis of ginsenosides with large molecular weight, chemical transformations of ginsenosides, changes in malonyl-ginsenosides, and generation of 20-(R)-ginsenoside enantiomers. The relative contents of compounds classified as PPD, PPT, malonyl, and transformed ginsenosides were calculated based on peak areas in ginseng before and after processing. This study provides possibility to monitor multiple components for the quality control and global evaluation of ginseng products during processing.