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Rapid screening for the adulterants of Berberis aristata using direct analysis in real-time mass spectrometry and principal component analysis for discrimination

Bajpai, Vikas, Singh, Awantika, Arya, Kamal Ram, Srivastava, Mukesh, Kumar, Brijesh
Food additives & contaminants 2015 v.32 no.6 pp. 799-807
Berberis, Coscinium fenestratum, Mahonia, adulterated products, bark, berberine, chlorogenic acid, leaves, mass spectrometry, metabolomics, principal component analysis, rapid methods, screening
Adulteration or substitution of commercial Berberis aristata and its herbal products with inferior-quality substituents is very common. Metabolic profiling of B. aristata , along with its common adulterants/contaminants/substituents such as B. asiatica, Mahonia borealis and Coscinium fenestratum , was rapidly carried out using direct analysis in real-time mass spectrometry (DART MS) to generate the chemical fingerprints for the differentiation of these species. Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of mainly alkaloids. The identified alkaloids were berberrubine, berberine, jatrorrhizine, ketoberberine, palmatine, dihydropalmatine or 7,8-dihydro-8-hydroxyberberine, berbamine and pakistanamine. Berberine, which was mainly reported from the root and stem bark of B. aristata , was also identified in the leaf along with chlorogenic acid. The DART MS data have been subjected to principal component analysis (PCA). The resulting score plots showed clustering and clear differentiation of the species and plant parts. It is thus apparent that the technique of DART MS followed by PCA is a quick and reliable method for the direct profiling of B. aristata and its adulterant plants and plant parts. The study reports the rapid analytical method to identify the possibility of illegal adulteration/contamination/substitution in potential plant materials and herbal extracts.