Analytical approaches utilized for the characterization of polyphenols from propolis useful for the determination of its quality is investigated in this study. A qualitative and quantitative evaluation of propolis bioactive molecules is of interest in medicine and nutraceuticals. Recent powerful analytical techniques are of great utility to separate and quantify polyphenols in extracts and finished products due to their capacity to produce typical fingerprints and a reliable identification of many components. According to this, an HPLC-UV-MS procedure was validated and applied for the characterization and quantification of bioactive substances in propolis and for an accurate assessment of their content in extract samples. By using this analytical approach, we obtained specific compositions related to brown propolis acquired from different geographic areas (and preparations and treatment). This is more important by considering the scientific opinion of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which provided a negative response related to health claims of propolis and its polyphenols. These results prove that HPLC-MS is an attractive tool for the standardization and quality control of propolis and may be realistically applied to screen raw material and to evaluate finished commercial preparations and nutraceutical benefits.
Key words: Propolis, polyphenols, flavonoids, phenolic acids, high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS), quality control, standardization
CE, Capillary electrophoresis; CQ, quality control; CZE, capillary zone electrophoresis; DAD, diode array detector; DNP, dinitrophenylhydrazine; ESI, electrospray ionization; FID, flame ionization detector; GC, gas chromatography; HPLC, high-performance liquid chromatography; MEKC, Micellar electrokinetic chromatography; MS, mass spectrometry; NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance; PAD, pulsed amperometric detector; TIC, total ion chromatogram; TLC, thin-layer chromatography.
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