Original Article

Combination of HPLC and 252-Cf plasma desorption mass spectrometry for identifying composition of ginseng tinctures

Yuri N Elkin, Vecheslav V Makhankov, Nina L Uvarova, Pavel V Bondarenko, Roman A Zubarev, Anatoly N Knysh


The 252-Cf plasma desorption mass spectrometry (252-Cf PDMS) determination or confirmation of the ginsenoside saponins has been proposed to investigate the composition of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) peaks of ginseng tinctures and galenic preparations. That ionization technique is well suitable for the analysis of natural mixtures of these saponins. The 252-Cf PD mass spectra of standard ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Re, Rg1, Rd, NG-R2, Z-R1 contain the peaks of two types of ions, namely, molecular adduct ions (MAI) and aglycone ions. By mass the latter may be referred to either protopanaxadiol or protopanaxatriol. The masses of MAI and aglycone ions are determined by the carbohydrate chains. The collected HPLC fractions of P ginseng tincture can be tested for content of ginsenosides. After studying two MAI peaks from the 252-Cf PD mass spectra of the basic ginsenosides, an example of distinction between two galenic preparations from different Panax has been shown.

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