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Improvement in Botanical Standardization of Commercial Freeze-Dried Herbal Extracts by Using the Combination of Antioxidant Capacity and Constituent Marker Concentrations

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Botanical extracts are standardized to 1 marker compounds (MCs). This standardization provides a certain level of quality control, but not complete quality assurance. Thus, industries are looking for other satisfactory systems to improve standardization. This study focuses on the standardization of herbal medicines by combining 2 parameters: the concentration of the MC and antioxidant capacity. Antioxidant capacity was determined with the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) method and the concentrations of the MCs, by high-performance liquid chromatography. Total phenols were also determined by the Folin-Ciocolteau method. The ORAC values, expressed as mol Trolox equivalents/100 g (ORAC ), of 12 commercial herbal extracts were related to the ORAC values of the respective pure MCs at the concentrations at which the MCs occur in products (ORAC-MC ). The ORAC values of 11 extracts were higher than those of the respective MCs and the ratios ORAC-MC /ORAC ranged from 0.007 to 0.7, whereas in the case of Olea europaea leaves, the same ratio was 1.36. The ORAC parameters and their ratios, as well as the linear relationship between ORAC-MC and ORAC , are described and discussed as tools for improving the standardization of herbal products and detecting modifications due to herb processing and storage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universit di Urbino, Istituto di Chimica Biologica G. Fornaini, Via Saffi 2, 61029 Urbino (PU), Italy. 2: Aboca Spa, Loc. Aboca 20, 52037, Sansepolcro (AR), Italy.

Publication date: 28 May 2009

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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