Combination of HPLC–MS and QAMS as a new analytical approach for determination of saponins in ginseng containing products

Andrey Stavrianidi, Elena Stekolshchikova, Anna Porotova, Igor Rodin, Oleg Shpigun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional liquid chromatographic methods coupled with ultraviolet detection with low-wavelength range are lacking selectivity and sensitivity to determine both polar and less polar ginsenosides. Also the lack of standard substances for such quality control methods is leading to development of the approaches using single standard for quantitative analysis of multi-component system (QAMS). The objective of present study was to establish and compare for the first time liquid chromatography–ultraviolet detection and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry QAMS methods for the simultaneous determination of protopanaxatriol-type and protopanaxadiol-type ginsenosides in a variety of ginseng products. Sixteen polar and less polar ginsenosides were separated on a reversed-phase C18-column (150mm × 2.0 mm, 2.2 μm) with a mobile phase consisting of 0.1% formic acid in water and acetonitrile. Components were then detected by means of ultraviolet and mass spectrometry detection. Characteristic sapogenin fragmentation signals with m/z 423 and 425 for two major groups of ginseng saponins allowed their simultaneous determination in a single chromatographic run, while the use of ultraviolet detection tends to give overvalued results. Structural correlation between the relative response factors and saponin structure was demonstrated. The method was linear (R2 >0.999) and sensitive (LODs, 0.01–0.08 mg/mL) within the concentration range tested. Concentrations of individual ginsenosides and several quality control parameters were determined in ginseng root extracts and commercial ginseng products of different types (root slices, tablets and tea samples), and results showed that ginsenoside content can be successfully measured by means of QAMS approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Ginsenosides
  • HPLC
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Natural products
  • Relative response factors


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