Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443421

Research Project: Methods for Chemical Authentication of Botanical Supplements and Ingredients

Location: Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-10700-003-004-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Nov 4, 2022
End Date: Dec 31, 2025

This project will develop methods for authentication of botanical ingredients and methods for specific supplements and their raw precursors: 1. Develop guidelines for validation of botanical identification methods based on chemometric one-class modeling. 2. Develop mass spectrometry libraries for botanical materials based on metabolomic and lipidomic methods. 3. Develop validated methods for specific botanicals: cranberry, turmeric, total proanthocyanidins, and fiber. 4. Develop methods for verifying the presence of ingredients in mixed botanical supplements. 5. Develop and establish on-line methods for determining similarity of botanical supplements and identification of phytochemical secondary metabolites.

New and innovative methods will be used to identify, authenticate, and characterize botanical supplements from raw ingredients to processed products. Development of these methods is challenging to the analyst and necessary for the consumer and industry. Analytical, taxonomic, and genetic data will be combined to provide the clearest possible description of botanical supplements, their components, and their variability. A wide range of authentic raw materials will be obtained through purchases and collaborations to account for the expected natural variation. A national sampling of challenging botanicals will be obtained through collaborations that are of commercial interest (Turmeric, fiber), or exhibit altered phenotypes as a result of hybridization (Echinacea sp.) or endophytic fungi (Actaea racemosa L., black cohosh). Chemical fingerprinting, based on both chromatographic and direct spectral analysis, and chemometric data processing will be used to provide rapid identification of botanicals and to discriminate between authentic and adulterated materials. Ultra high performance liquid chromatography-high resolution accurate mass/mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) and high field proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectrometry will be used to develop metabolite profiles of the raw botanical materials. Taxonomic, mass spectral, and metabolomic profiles will be combined in a prototype database that, when finalized, will allow identification of raw botanicals and ingredients through chromatograms, chemical fingerprints, and ion features and will provide to the full chemical composition of the botanical material.