The lack of standard substances is a bottleneck for quality control in traditional and alternative medicine. Development of the HPLC-UV approaches combined with single standard for quantitative analysis of multi-component system (QAMS) allowed determination of several plant biomarkers by implementation of the relative response factors (RRFs). Robustness and ruggedness of such methods are commonly demonstrated by performing the analysis in changing analytical conditions on the different HPLC equipment and columns. The nature of MS detection is much more complicated and dependent on the instrumentation. Therefore, this study was conducted to justify the use of RRFs for HPLC–MS determination of bioactive compounds from plants. Protopanaxatriol (PPT), protopanaxadiol (PPD) and ocotillol (OT) ginseng saponins (ginsenosides) were successfully separated on a reversed-phase PFP-column with high group selectivity. Fragmentation patterns for these groups of compounds were established on different HPLC-ESI-MS systems and at varied declustering potentials (DPs). The use of sapogenin fragmentation ions in positive detection mode along with group reference standards was shown to be an optimal way to perform quantification. The performance of the developed group targeted HPLC-MS-QAMS approach was tested in the course of measurements conducted on the different instrumentation. The differences between QAMS and external standard method (ESM) quantification results were below 15% for all determined saponins.
- Natural products
- Relative response factors