Author(s): Zhou JL, Qi LW, Li P
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Abstract The fact that the effects of herbal medicines (HMs) are brought about by their chemical constituents has created a critical demand for powerful analytical tools performing the chemical analysis to assure their efficacy, safety and quality. Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is an excellent technique to analyze multi-components in complex herbal matrices. Due to its inherent characteristics of accurate mass measurements and high resolution, time-of-flight (TOF) MS is well-suited to this field, especially for qualitative applications. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview on the potential of TOF, including the hybrid quadrupole- and ion trap-TOF (QTOF and IT-TOF), hyphenated to LC for chemical analysis in HMs or HM-treated biological samples. The peculiarities of LC-(Q/IT)TOF-MS for the analysis of HMs are discussed first, including applied stationary phase, mobile-phase selection, accurate mass measurements, fragmentation and selectivity. The final section is devoted to describing the applicability of LC-(Q/IT)TOF-MS to routine analysis of multi-components, including target and non-target (unknown) compounds, in herbal samples, emphasizing both the advantages and limitations of this approach for qualitative and quantitative purposes. The potential and future trends of fast high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (e.g. rapid resolution LC and ultra-performance LC) coupled to (Q)TOF-MS for chemical analysis of HMs are highlighted.
This article was published in J Chromatogr A
and referenced in Journal of Food Processing & Technology