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Comparison of three officinal Chinese pharmacopoeia species of Glycyrrhiza based on separation and quantification of triterpene saponins and chemometrics analysis

Tao, Weiwei, Duan, Jinao, Zhao, Runhuai, Li, Xueyu, Yan, Hui, Li, Jianping, Guo, Sheng, Yang, Nianyun, Tang, Yuping
Food chemistry 2013 v.141 no.3 pp. 1681-1689
Glycyrrhiza, aerial parts, chemometrics, drugs, foods, fruits, leaves, licorice, quality control, raw materials, rhizomes, roots, triterpenoid saponins, China
The dried roots and rhizomes of Glycyrrhiza species, named licorice, have been utilized as food as well as crude drugs in China for thousands of years. Glycyrrhiza species can be differentiated based on the morphologic features of their aerial part, i.e. leaf and fruit morphologies, but not on their root morphology, even though that is the medicinal part. In this paper, a fast and effective UPLC–TQ-MS/MS method was explored for better identification and quantitative investigation of triterpene saponins in licorice, which laid basis for chemical comparison of three officinal Chinese pharmacopoeia Glycyrrhiza species. The results showed that all of these licorice samples were rich in triterpene saponins but with significant difference corresponding to different Glycyrrhiza species. The proposed method could be useful in quality control and standardization of licorice raw materials and its products.