Microwave-assisted extraction was applied to extract rutin; quercetin; genistein; kaempferol; and isorhamnetin from Flos Sophorae Immaturus. Six independent variables; namely; solvent type; particle size; extraction frequency; liquid-to-solid ratio; microwave power; and extraction time were examined. Response surface methodology using a central composite design was employed to optimize experimental conditions (liquid-to-solid ratio; microwave power; and extraction time) based on the results of single factor tests to extract the five major components in Flos Sophorae Immaturus. Experimental data were fitted to a second-order polynomial equation using multiple regression analysis. Data were also analyzed using appropriate statistical methods. Optimal extraction conditions were as follows: extraction solvent; 100% methanol; particle size; 100 mesh; extraction frequency; 1; liquid-to-solid ratio; 50:1; microwave power; 287 W; and extraction time; 80 s. A rapid and sensitive ultra-high performance liquid chromatography method coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (EIS-Q-TOF MS/MS) was developed and validated for the simultaneous determination of rutin; quercetin; genistein; kaempferol; and isorhamnetin in Flos Sophorae Immaturus. Chromatographic separation was accomplished on a Kinetex C18
column (100 mm × 2.1 mm; 2.6 μm) at 40 °C within 5 min. The mobile phase consisted of 0.1% aqueous formic acid and acetonitrile (71:29; v
). Isocratic elution was carried out at a flow rate of 0.35 mL/min. The constituents of Flos Sophorae Immaturus were simultaneously identified by EIS-Q-TOF MS/MS in multiple reaction monitoring mode. During quantitative analysis; all of the calibration curves showed good linear relationships (R2
> 0.999) within the tested ranges; and mean recoveries ranged from 96.0216% to 101.0601%. The precision determined through intra- and inter-day studies showed an RSD% of <2.833%. These results demonstrate that the developed method is accurate and effective and could be readily utilized for the comprehensive quality control of Flos Sophorae Immaturus.
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