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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FINGERPRINTING AND PROFILING METHODS FOR CHARACTERIZATION OF FOODS AND DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

Location: Food Composition and Methods Development Lab

Title: Mass spectroscopic fingerprinting method for to differentiation between Scutellaria lateriflora and the Germander (Teucrium canadens and T. chamaedrys species

Authors
item Chen, Pei
item Lin, Longze -
item Harnly, James

Submitted to: Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 3, 2009
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Citation: Chen, P., Lin, L., Harnly, J.M. 2010. Mass spectroscopic fingerprinting method for differentiation between Scutellaria lateriflora and the Germander (Teucrium canadense and T. chamaedrys) species. Journal of AOAC International. 93(4):1148-1154.

Interpretive Summary: Scutellaria lateriflora, commonly known as skullcap, is used as an ingredient in numerous herbal products. However, it has been occasionally adulterated with Teucrium canadense and/or Teucrium chamaedrys, commonly known as germander, which contain potentially toxic chemicals that are known to damage the liver (hepatotoxic diterpenes). Rapid analytical methodologies to distinguish authentic skullcap from Teucrium are needed to protect the health of consumers. The method developed was able to clearly distinguish between skullcap and germander without a long separation process. The newly developed method offers a fast and easy way to differentiate between the skullcap and germander in samples, which will be of use to agencies involved in regulating dietary supplement ingredients and others validating product content.

Technical Abstract: Scutellaria lateriflora, commonly known as skullcap, is used as an ingredient in numerous herbal products. However, it has been occasionally adulterated/contaminated with Teucrium canadense and Teucrium chamaedrys, commonly known as germander, which contain potentially hepatotoxic diterpenes. Due to the similarities between the two species botanically, rapid analytical methodologies to distinguish authentic S. lateriflora from Teucrium species are needed to ensure public safety. In this study, a direct injection electron-spray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) method was used to generate MS spectrum fingerprints of extracts from 23 skullcap and germander samples in 90 seconds for each sample. MS spectrum fingerprints of the samples were analyzed according to the m/z of the key compounds. Principal component analysis (PCA) was also used to process the MS fingerprints. The newly developed method offers a fast and easy way to differentiate between the skullcap and germander in samples.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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