Quality assessment of marketed chamomile tea products by a validated HPTLC method combined with multivariate analysis.
J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2017 Jan 5 ;132:35-45. Epub 2016 Sep 26. PMID: 27693951
Chamomile tea composed of dried flower heads of Matricaria recutita L. (Asteraceae) is one of the most popular single ingredient herbal teas. Tea industries, spice shops or public bazaars are mostly supplied chamomile as a raw material via cultivation or through nature-picking. However, one of the drawbacks of nature-picking is adulteration. This could be either due to false authentication of the plant materials by ingenuous pickers or intentional/unintentional substitution with other flowers resembling to chamomile in appearance during harvesting. Therefore, quality control of raw chamomile materials before marketing should be carefully considered not only by quantification of apigenin 7-O-glucoside (active marker) but also by fingerprinting of chemical composition. This work presents both quantification of apigenin 7-O-glucoside and chemical fingerprinting of commercial chamomile tea products obtained from different food stores and spice shops by a validated HPTLC method. In addition, HPTLC profiles of investigated chamomile tea samples were compared with HPLC method stated in the European Pharmacopoeia and it was found that HPTLC method was superior to HPLC method in the field of adulteration confirmation. Therefore, fingerprint profiles performed on the silica gel 60 NHFs HPTLC plates combined with pattern recognition techniques of these marketed products were comparatively evaluated with wild and cultivar chamomile samples and also chamomile-like species from Asteraceae. Consequently, not chamomile tea bags but crude flowers sold on market were found to be adulterated with other plant materials.