Objective: A rapid, simple, and reliable method, flow-injection mass spectrometric (FIMS)
fingerprinting method, was developed to discriminate between the two major Echinacea species
(E. purpurea and E. angustifolia) samples and the aerial and root portions of E. purpurea.
Methods: Fifty-eight Echinacea samples collected from United States were analyzed using FIMS.
Principle component analysis (PCA) and soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA) were
used to process the FIMS data.
Key Findings: The results showed that the FIMS fingerprinting technique (1 min per sample) successfully discriminated
between the two Echinacea species and aerial and root plant components. The FIMS method also identified cichoric acid,
caftaric acid, echinacoside, and some sugars as the components contributing most significantly in differentiating the two
Echinacea species as well as the aerial and root parts.