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PLOS ONE  2013 

Development and Validation of a Combined Methodology for Assessing the Total Quality Control of Herbal Medicinal Products – Application to Oleuropein Preparations

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078277

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Oleuropein (OE) is a secoiridoid glycoside, which occurs mostly in the Oleaceae family presenting several pharmacological properties, including antioxidant, cardio-protective, anti-atherogenic effects etc. Based on these findings OE is commercially available, as Herbal Medicinal Product (HMP), claimed for its antioxidant effects. As there are general provisions of the medicine regulating bodies e.g. European Medicines Agency, the quality of the HMP’s must always be demonstrated. Therefore, a novel LC-MS methodology was developed and validated for the simultaneous quantification of OE and its main degradation product, hydroxytyrosol (HT), for the relevant OE claimed HMP’s. The internal standard (IS) methodology was employed and separation of OE, HT and IS was achieved on a C18 Fused Core column with 3.1 min overall run time employing the SIM method for the analytical signal acquisition. The method was validated according to the International Conference on Harmonisation requirements and the results show adequate linearity (r2 > 0.99) over a wide concentration range [0.1–15 μg/mL (n=12)] and a LLOQ value of 0.1 μg/mL, for both OE and HT. Furthermore, as it would be beneficial to control the quality taking into account all the substances of the OE claimed HMP’s; a metabolomics-like approach has been developed and applied for the total quality control of the different preparations employing UHPLC-HRMS-multivariate analysis (MVA). Four OE-claimed commercial HMP’s have been randomly selected and MVA similarity-based measurements were performed. The results showed that the examined samples could also be differentiated as evidenced according to their scores plot. Batch to batch reproducibility between the samples of the same brand has also been determined and found to be acceptable. Overall, the developed combined methodology has been found to be an efficient tool for the monitoring of the HMP’s total quality. Only one OE HMP has been found to be consistent to its label claim.


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