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Phytochem Anal. 2012 Mar-Apr;23(2):177-83. doi: 10.1002/pca.1340. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Monitoring of phenolic compounds for the quality control of Melissa officinalis products by capillary electrophoresis.

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  • 1Química Analítica, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y Farmacia, UNSL Chacabuco y Pedernera, San Luis, Argentina.



Official assays for the quality control of Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) leaves establish the quantification of total hydroxycinnamic derivatives expressed as rosmarinic acid.


The goal of this work was to develop a simple, fast and reliable method for monitoring the phenolic composition in herbs from the Lamiaceae family and for rapidly detecting M. officinalis adulteration or substitution in commercial medicinal samples in Argentina.


A capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) method was performed under the following conditions: the background electrolyte (BGE) consisted of 20 m m sodium tetraborate buffer, pH 9.2; the applied voltage was 25 kV; the capillary and sample temperatures were kept at 25 °C; the hydrodynamic mode was selected for the sample injection (3.45 kPa during 5 s).


A CZE method that achieved the separation and simultaneous determination of eight related phenolic compounds in less than 11 min was optimised for application to control quality analysis of M. officinalis-based products. The method was validated according to the US Federal Drug Agency requirements and offers advantages in terms of analysis time, cost and operation.


The proposed methodology can be applied to the standardisation and quality control of plant material and phytopharmaceutical products derived from the Lamiaceae family, as indicated by the results obtained in the analysis of commercial medicinal products in Argentina.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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