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  • Author or Editor: Alen Albreht x
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A thin-layer chromatographic (TLC) method for fast screening of trans-resveratrol, pterostilbene, and p-coumaric acid in samples of recombinant bacterial cultures, food supplements, and wine was developed. The separation was performed on high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) silica gel 60 plates using n-hexane-ethyl acetate-formic acid (20:19:1, v/v) as developing solvent in tank configuration of horizontal developing chamber, in which better resolution between trans-resveratrol and p-coumaric acid than in sandwich configuration of the same chamber or in automatic developing chamber (ADC) was obtained. Compounds were detected before and after post-chromatographic derivatization (three detection reagents) by image analyzing system (at 366 nm or white light) and by densitometer (absorption-reflectance and fluorescence mode). The lowest densitometric limits of detection (LOD) 2 ng for trans-resveratrol (303 nm), 5 ng for pterostilbene (303 nm), and 15 ng for p-coumaric acid (286 nm) were found before derivatization in absorption-reflectance mode. Post-chromatographic derivatization with anisaldehyde-sulfuric acid detection reagent resulted in higher LOD in the same mode: 13 ng for trans-resveratrol and pterostilbene at 500 nm and 30 ng for p-coumaric acid at 566 nm. Natural fluorescence of both stilbenes was less sensitive than UV absorption and less selective than post-chromatographic derivatization with anisaldehyde reagent at densitometric screening of trans-resveratrol in the samples. A complementary high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method was developed for screening and quantification of the three compounds in recombinant bacterial cultures. Adequate separation of the analytes was performed in 35 min by a gradient elution from a stainless-steel column Hypersil ODS (150 × 4.6 mm I.D., particle size: 5 μm) with the mobile phase consisting of 50 mM sodium acetate buffer pH 5.6 (solvent A) and acetonitrile (solvent B) at the flow rate of 1.5 mLmin−1.

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Separation of three triterpenic acids (ursolic, oleanolic and betulinic acid) was achieved on different thin-layer chromatography (TLC) (silica gel 60) and high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) sorbents (silica gel 60, C2 RP and C18 RP) using several developing solvents, based on the non-polar diluent n-hexane, and ester (methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethyl propionate) as selector. Anisaldehyde and molybdophosphoric acid detection reagents were used. Finally, a simple method on a C18 RP HPTLC plate was developed using n-hexane-ethyl acetate (5:1 v/v) as a developing solvent in a horizontal developing chamber. The method was used for the screening of ursolic, oleanolic and betulinic acids in different vegetable extracts. Other plant triterpenoids (lupeol, α-amyrin, β-amyrin, cycloartenol, lupenone, friedelin, lupeol acetate, cycloartenol acetate) and phytosterols (β-sitosterol, stigmasterol) did not interfere. TLC-MS was used as a tool for the additional confirmation of the presence of ursolic, oleanolic, and betulinic acids in some of the studied vegetable extracts. Ursolic and oleanolic acids were found in radicchio Leonardo and white-colored radicchio di Castelfranco extracts for the first time, while betulinic acid was not detected in the eggplant extract by MS, although it was suggested at first by TLC analysis. Pre-chromatographic bromination on the HPTLC silica gel 60 plates and subsequent development in toluene-chloroform-diethyl ether-formic acid (20:16:4:0.1, v/v) provided a superior resolution of these compounds.

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High-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) is a powerful separation technique which is often overlooked. In this study, we comprehensively assessed the applicability, ease, and performance of HPTLC in combination with densitometry and mass spectrometry (MS) to characterize physalins — relatively polar secondary metabolites from Physalis alkekengi L. HPTLC silica gel plates were evaluated in combination with 14 developing solvents (13 published in the literature). Bonded stationary phases (HPTLC RP-18, RP-18 W, CN F254S) were also tested. Four detection reagents (sulfuric acid, anisaldehyde, 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMACA), and molybdatophosphoric acid) were compared to ascertain which one is the most suitable. For all chromatographic analyses, a commercial standard physalin L and a P. alkekengi L. crude extract were used. In some cases, physalin L standard appeared as two clearly resolved bands on silica plates, but only after derivatization, where sulfuric acid reagent provided the best selectivity and sensitivity. Physalin L standard impurity was found to belong to the physalin family as confirmed by HPTLC–MS/(MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Compared to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), our HPTLC method showed extremely high sensitivity for standard impurity (ca. 4% determined by NMR) as it was clearly visible on the plate during image analysis after derivatization. Unlike (ultra)-high-performance liquid chromatography ((U)HPLC), HPTLC was also able to separate physalin L standard from its impurity. We show that (HP)TLC is a suitable chromatographic technique for the analysis of physalins and can even surpass the performance of (U)HPLC, namely, due to a wide array of different developing solvents available.

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