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Populus nigra L. bud absolute: a case study for a strategy of analysis of natural complex substances

The new European regulations (e.g., REACH) require that Natural Complex Substances such as essential oils, absolutes, concretes, and resinoids are registered. This need implies that the chemical composition of these complex mixtures is characterized as exhaustively as possible in view of defining their toxicological risk. This study proposes an analysis strategy to be applied to the chemical characterization of poplar absolute as an example of Natural Complex Substances of vegetable origin. In the first part, the proposed strategy is described, and the advantages and the limitations related to the combination of conventional analytical techniques such as gas chromatography (GC) without and with sample derivatization and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are critically discussed. In the second part, the qualitative data obtained with GC and HPLC analysis of poplar bud absolute confirm the sample complexity which mainly consists of phenolic components. Fourteen compounds (i.e., phenolic acids, phenylpropanoids, and flavonoids) were then chosen as markers representative of the main classes of components characterizing poplar bud absolute. The marker quantitation carried out by GC-SIM-MS and HPLC-PDA analyses gives similar results confirming the reliability of both techniques. These results demonstrate that conventional analytical techniques can positively and effectively contribute to the study of the the composition of Natural Complex Substances, i.e., matrices for which highly effective separation is necessary, consisting mainly of isomers or homologous components. The combination of GC and HPLC techniques is ever more necessary for routine quality control when conventional instrumentations are used. Figure Elucidation of Natural Complex Substances (NCS)

Authors:   Patrizia Rubiolo, Cristina Casetta, Cecilia Cagliero, Hugues Brevard, Barbara Sgorbini, Carlo Bicchi
Journal:   Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Year:   2012
Pages:   1
DOI:   10.1007/s00216-012-6537-y
Publication date:   25-Nov-2012
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