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Quantification of Arbutin in Plant Extracts by Stable Isotope Dilution Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry

Lee, KyoungBok, Choi, Jaehyuk, Ahn, SoonKil, Na, Jong-Kuk, Shrestha, KrishnaKumar, Nguon, Samnang, Park, SangUn, Choi, Sangho, Kim, JaeKwang
Chromatographia 2018 v.81 no.3 pp. 533-538
Ericaceae, Phyllanthus, detection limit, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, isotope dilution technique, plant extracts, silylation, stable isotopes, statistical analysis
Arbutin is a skin-whitening agent found in plants such as the Ericaceae species. Herein, we report the development and validation of a method based on gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for the analysis of arbutin in plant extracts. Prior to analysis, silylation with trimethylsilyl (TMS) reagent produced 5TMS and 4TMS derivatives, for which the peak area ratios varied significantly prior to sample injection. However, the use of [d₄]-arbutin as an internal standard overcame this issue, with little variation in the observed peak area ratios. Method validation confirmed the excellent linearity (r² = 0.9989), recovery (accuracy 101.4–105.7%), precision (relative standard deviation ≤ 3.43%), limit of detection (0.03 μg mL⁻¹), and limit of quantitation (0.08 μg mL⁻¹) of this novel method. Finally, our method was applied to the detection of arbutin in various plant species. To the best of our knowledge, arbutin was detected and measured in Prismatomeris tetrandra and Phyllanthus reticulatus samples for the first time.