HPLC-DAD and HPLC-ESI-MS/MS methods for metabolite profiling of propolis extracts.J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011 Jul 15; 55(5):934-48.JP
In this study, the composition of polyphenols (phenolic acids and flavonoids) in propolis extracts was investigated by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-ESI-MS/MS by comparing the performance of ion trap and triple quadrupole mass analyzers. The analyses were carried out on an Ascentis C(18) column (250mm×4.6mm I.D., 5μm), with a mobile phase composed by 0.1% formic acid in water and acetonitrile. Overall, the UV spectra, the MS and MS/MS data allowed the identification of 40 compounds. In the case of flavonoids, the triple quadrupole mass analyzer provided more collision energy if compared with the ion trap, originating product ions at best sensitivity. The HPLC method was validated in agreement with ICH guidelines: the correlation coefficients were >0.998; the limit of detection was in the range 1.6-4.6μg/ml; the recovery range was 96-105%; the intra- and inter-day %RSD values for retention times and peak areas were found to be <0.3 and 1.9%, respectively. The developed technique was applied to the analysis of hydroalcoholic extracts of propolis available on the Italian market. Although the chromatographic profile of the analyzed samples was similar, the quantitative analysis indicated that there is a great variability in the amount of the active compounds: the content of total phenolic acids ranged from 0.17 to 16.67mg/ml and the level of total flavonoids from 2.48 to 41.10mg/ml. The proposed method can be considered suitable for the phytochemical analysis of propolis extracts used in phytotherapy.