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Open AccessArticle

Development of a Validated UPLC-MS/MS Method for Analyzing Major Ginseng Saponins from Various Ginseng Species

by Ling Yang 1, Chi-Lin Li 1, Yung-Yi Cheng 2,3 and Tung-Hu Tsai 1,4,5,6,*
1
Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2
Natural Products Research Laboratories, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3
Chinese Medicine Research and Development Center, China Medical University and Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
4
Institute of Food Safety and Health Risk Assessment, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
5
Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
6
Department of Chemical Engineering, National United University, Miaoli 36063, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Deok-Chun Yang
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4065; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224065
Received: 5 October 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 9 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Ginseng Research)
Ginsenosides, which contain one triterpene and one or more sugar moieties, are the major bioactive compounds of ginseng. The aim of this study was to develop and optimize a specific and reliable ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method for the analysis of twelve different resources of ginseng. The six marker compounds of ginsenoside Rb1, ginsenoside Rb2, ginsenoside Rc, ginsenoside Rd, ginsenoside Re, and ginsenoside Rg1, as well as an internal standard, were separated by a reversed-phase C-18 column with a gradient elution of water and methanol-acetonitrile. The multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) mode was used to quantify and identify twelve market products. The results demonstrated that not only is the logarithm of its partition coefficient (cLog P; octanol-water partition coefficient) one of the factors, but also the number of sugars, position of sugars, and position of the hydroxyl groups are involved in the complicated separation factors for the analytes in the analytical system. If the amount of ginsenoside Rb1 was higher than 40 mg/g, then the species might be Panax quinquefolius, based on the results of the marker ginsenoside contents of various varieties. In summary, this study provides a rapid and precise analytical method for identifying the various ginsenosides from different species, geographic environments, and cultivation cultures. View Full-Text
Keywords: ginseng species; ginsenosides; traditional Chinese medicine; ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry ginseng species; ginsenosides; traditional Chinese medicine; ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
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Yang, L.; Li, C.-L.; Cheng, Y.-Y.; Tsai, T.-H. Development of a Validated UPLC-MS/MS Method for Analyzing Major Ginseng Saponins from Various Ginseng Species. Molecules 2019, 24, 4065.

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