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Differentiation between Chaenomelis Fructus and its common adulterant, Guangpi Mugua
Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL  (IF1.913),  Pub Date : 2021-08-19, DOI: 10.1093/jaoacint/qsab107
Lyu M, Liu Y, Qiu Y, et al.

Abstract
Background
The dried fruit of Chaenomeles speciosa, known as Chaenomelis Fructus or Zhoupi Mugua is a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that is widely used to treat many diseases. In addition, Guangpi Mugua, the dried fruit of the Chaenomeles sinensis, is its most commonly known adulterant.
Objective
To establish a robust approach for the quality control and identification of Chaenomelis Fructus.
Methods
Thin-layer Chromatography (TLC) was optimized and used to discriminate Chaenomelis Fructus from Guangpi Mugua. In addition, High-performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method combined with fingerprint analysis and Partial Least-squares Discrimination Analysis (PLS-DA) was employed to study the chemical differences between Chaenomelis Fructus and Guangpi Mugua. Moreover, the Single Standard to Determine Multi-components (SSDMC) method with credible precision, repeatability, stability and durability was developed for quantitative analysis of the abundant markers.
Results
The developed TLC and HPLC methods were effective in the authentication of Chaenomelis Fructus. Moreover, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, pomolic acid, corosolic acid, 3-O-acetylpomolic acid and one unknown compound, were identified to be critical markers for the discrimination of Chaenomelis Fructus from Guangpi Mugua.
Conclusions
Adulteration has always been a challenge in the development of TCM. This study therefore presents useful insights that may help solve the problem of adulteration during the preparation of Chaenomelis Fructus.
Highlights
The present study provided a systematic method for the quality control of Chaenomelis Fructus. This was therefore the first step towards solving the problem of adulteration in an attempt to improve the clinical safety and effectiveness of Chaenomelis Fructus.