Agata Walkowiak, Bogumiła Kupcewicz
Chemical fingerprints in the analysis and quality assessment of plant products
Recently, many people have shown a growing interest in different kinds of herbal products perceived them as safe and harmless. The pharmaceutical market offers a wide range of these products, but it must be stated that not all the products are good quality. Strong competition, as well as an increasing need for quality control makes the traditional analytical methods less attractive. Therefore, the better and faster screening methods which facilitate quality control are still desirable. Since the quality of such a preparation depends on many components of the sample, it requires a global approach. A chemical fingerprint of such a sample is a comprehensive, distinctive chemical profile of a plant product that can be used to assess the quality, identification, and authentication of the herbal product. Most often, such fingerprint is obtained by spectroscopic or chromatographic techniques combined with chemometric methods. The aim of the article is to review the fingerprint methods in combination with multidimensional methods of data analysis used in the examination of authenticity and confirmation of the geographical origin of selected plant products such as herbs, spices and medicinal plants. Among the spectroscopic techniques, most often in the field of plant analysis, near (NIR) and mid (MIR) infrared, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and attenuated total reflection (ATR), Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are used. Whereas among the chromatographic techniques most often chosen for fingerprint analysis are high performance liquid (HPLC) or thinlayer (HPTLC) chromatography. Interpretation of chromatographic fingerprints is relatively simpler, but spectroscopic analyzes are less time-consuming, cheaper and do not require labor-intensive sample preparation processes. Recently has published a beneficial modification of correlation spectroscopy intended for the comparison of a pair of spectra, called two-trace two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2T2D-COS). FTIR spectroscopy and two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy has become a useful tool for qualitative analysis of plant samples. A lot of papers on the use of fingerprint methods in combination with chemometric tools have been published recently and it seems that they can become an effective and convenient tool for controlling the quality of plant raw materials.
Keywords: spectroscopy, chromatography, chemometrics, fingerprint, plant products.
© Farm Pol, 2020, 76(8): 459–466