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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 29;54(24):8995-9003.

Simultaneous determination of ginsenosides and polyacetylenes in American ginseng root (Panax quinquefolium L.) by high-performance liquid chromatography.

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Departments of Food Science and of Horticulture, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Research Centre Aarslev, Kirstinebjergvej 10, DK-5792 Aarslev, Denmark.


A method for simultaneous determination of ginsenosides and polyacetylenes in Panax quinquefolium L. (American ginseng) roots was developed. The ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re, Rg1, Ro, malonyl-Rb1, malonyl-Rc, and malonyl-Rd and the polyacetylenes falcarinol and panaxydol were extracted from fresh ginseng roots in a sequential extraction process with 100% methanol followed by 80% aqueous methanol and quantified simultaneously in extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography using diode array detection. Separations were achieved with a phosphate buffer-acetonitrile gradient system using an RP-C18 column. Except for Rd, the present extraction method resulted in similar or significantly higher concentrations of both ginsenosides and polyacetylenes in comparison to commonly used extraction methods for these compounds. The contents of polyacetylenes and ginsenosides were determined in the root hairs, lateral roots, and main roots of 6 year old ginseng plants. The total mean concentrations of ginsenosides and polyacetylenes in root hairs were 31.0 g/kg fresh weight (FW) and 2.6 g/kg FW, respectively, whereas the concentrations of these bioactive compounds in the main roots were significantly lower with total mean concentrations of 17.8 g/kg FW for ginsenosides and 0.6 g/kg FW for polyacetylenes. The concentration of individual and total ginsenosides and polyacetylenes did not differ significantly between main roots of different sizes. Consequently, it is possible to do quantitative screening for ginsenosides and polyacetylenes to breed ginseng roots with higher levels of bioactive compounds.

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