Determination of kavalactones in dried kava (Piper methysticum) powder using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy and partial least-squares regression.J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Aug 23; 54(17):6147-52.JA
Kava (Piper methysticum Forst F.), or àwa in the Hawaiian language, has been used for thousands of years by the people of the South Pacific Islands, in particular Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Samoa, for social and ceremonial occasions. Kava has the unique ability to promote a state of relaxation without the loss of mental alertness. Kava recently became part of the herbal pharmacopoeia throughout the United States and Europe because of its anxiolytic properties. The active compounds are collectively called kavalactones (or kava pyrones). The need for a less time-consuming and costly method to determine the concentration of kavalactones in dried kava is urgent. The combination of near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) and partial least-squares (PLS) methods has been found to be a convenient, versatile, and rapid analytical tool for determination of kavalactones in dried kava powder. Calibration equations were developed based on the analyses of 110 samples with variable physical and chemical properties collected over time from Hawaii kava growers and validated by analyses of a set of 12 samples with unknown kavalactones concentration. All six major kavalactones and the total kavalactones were measured using NIRS with accuracy acceptable for commercial use. The NIRS measurements are reproducible and have a repeatability on a par with HPLC methods.