Phytochemical analysis : PCA

Development of a rapid resolution liquid chromatographic method combined with chemometrics for quality control of Angelicae dahuricae radix.

PMID 21960288


Angelicae dahuricae radix (Baizhi) is a widely used traditional Chinese medicine, for which the traditional processing method has been sun-drying after harvesting. In recent years this method has been replaced by sulphur-fumigation for the sake of improving its appearance and pest control. Correct identification of sulphur-fumigated Baizhi and rapid finding of appropriate chemical markers for the quality control of Baizhi are of very great importance. To develop a rapid and efficient method of rapid resolution liquid chromatography (RRLC) combined with chemometrics for discriminating sulphur-fumigated Baizhi and controlling its quality. The samples were separated on a Zorbax SB-C₁₈-column with a gradient elution programme using methanol and water. The optimal RRLC method was validated in terms of linearity, precision, stability and recovery test. In addition, hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) and principle component analysis (PCA) were applied to differentiate the different samples. All the constituents were well separated within 18 min. The results of chemical fingerprinting and quantitative analysis showed that the sulphur-fumigated method obviously destroyed the phytochemical profiles of Baizhi. Moreover, the sun-dried and sulphur-fumigated Baizhi could be clearly separated by HCA and PCA, and the critical markers such as oxypeucedanin and imperatorin accountable for such differences were ultimately screened out. This study revealed that sulphur-fumigation is an inappropriate approach for processing crude drugs and should be prohibited, and that the proposed RRLC method combined with chemometrics demonstrated an efficient strategy for quality control of Baizhi.

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Imperatorin, ≥98% (HPLC), powder