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Visualization of Aspalathin in Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) Plant and Herbal Tea Extracts Using Thin-Layer Chromatography

1
South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI), University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, South Africa
2
Oxidative Stress Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Symphony Road, Bellville 7535, South Africa
3
Biocatalysis and Technical Biology Research Group, Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Symphony Road, Bellville 7535, South Africa
4
Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally to the work.
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050938
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tea Chemistry)
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Abstract

Aspalathin, the main polyphenol of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), is associated with diverse health promoting properties of the tea. During fermentation, aspalathin is oxidized and concentrations are significantly reduced. Standardized methods for quality control of rooibos products do not investigate aspalathin, since current techniques of aspalathin detection require expensive equipment and expertise. Here, we describe a simple and fast thin-layer chromatography (TLC) method that can reproducibly visualize aspalathin in rooibos herbal tea and plant extracts at a limit of detection (LOD) equal to 178.7 ng and a limit of quantification (LOQ) equal to 541.6 ng. Aspalathin is a rare compound, so far only found in A. linearis and its (rare) sister species A. pendula. Therefore, aspalathin could serve as a marker compound for authentication and quality control of rooibos products, and the described TLC method represents a cost-effective approach for high-throughput screening of plant and herbal tea extracts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rooibos; Aspalathus linearis; aspalathin; thin-layer chromatography; p-anisaldehyde; herbal tea; authentication; marker compound Rooibos; Aspalathus linearis; aspalathin; thin-layer chromatography; p-anisaldehyde; herbal tea; authentication; marker compound
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Amor Stander, E.; Williams, W.; Rautenbach, F.; Le Roes-Hill, M.; Mgwatyu, Y.; Marnewick, J.; Hesse, U. Visualization of Aspalathin in Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) Plant and Herbal Tea Extracts Using Thin-Layer Chromatography. Molecules 2019, 24, 938.

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