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Open AccessArticle

Effectiveness of Different Analytical Methods for the Characterization of Propolis: A Case of Study in Northern Italy

1
Centre of Applied Studies for the Sustainable Management and Protection of Mountain Areas (CRC Ge.S.Di.Mont.), University of Milan, Via Morino 8, 25048 Edolo (BS), Italy
2
Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DEFENS), University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
3
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Landscape, Agroenergy (DISAA), Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030504
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 23 January 2020
Propolis is used as folk medicine due to its spectrum of alleged biological and pharmaceutical properties and it is a complex matrix not still totally characterized. Two batches of propolis coming from two different environments (plains of Po Valley and the hilly Ligurian–Piedmont Apennines) of Northern Italy were characterized using different analytical methods: Spectrophotometric analysis of phenols, flavones and flavonols, and DPPH radical scavenging activity, HPLC, NMR, HSPME and GC–MS and HPLC–MS Orbitrap. Balsam and moisture content were also considered. No statistical differences were found at the spectrophotometric analysis; balsam content did not vary significantly. The most interesting findings were in the VOCs composition, with the Po Valley samples containing compounds of the resins from leaf buds of Populus nigra L. The hills (Appennines) samples were indeed characterize by the presence of phenolic glycerides already found in mountain environments. HPLC–Q-Exactive-Orbitrap®–MS analysis is crucial in appropriate recognition of evaluate number of metabolites, but also NMR itself could give more detailed information especially when isomeric compounds should be identified. It is necessary a standardized evaluation to protect and valorize this production and more research on propolis characterization using different analytical techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: propolis; poplar; HPLC–Q-Exactive-Orbitrap®–MS analysis; phenolic glycerides propolis; poplar; HPLC–Q-Exactive-Orbitrap®–MS analysis; phenolic glycerides
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Pavlovic, R.; Borgonovo, G.; Leoni, V.; Giupponi, L.; Ceciliani, G.; Sala, S.; Bassoli, A.; Giorgi, A. Effectiveness of Different Analytical Methods for the Characterization of Propolis: A Case of Study in Northern Italy. Molecules 2020, 25, 504.

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