Background: The official compendium of the quantification of ginkgo flavonoids from Ginkgo biloba extract has been proposed using HPLC. The drawbacks of this technique appear to be due to the restricted efficiency in terms of the recovery results and suitability of the system for the quantification of these compounds. This study investigated the potential advantages and limitations of the development of efficient extraction methods for the recovery of flavonol glycosides (quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin) and terpene trilactones (bilobalide, ginkgolide A, ginkgolide B and ginkgolide C) using extraction, quantification and detection techniques, namely, GC-FID and UHPLC-DAD, which are alternatives to those techniques available in the literature.
Methods: Two different extraction methodologies have been developed for the determination of flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin) and terpene trilactones (bilobalide, ginkgolide A, ginkgolide B and ginkgolide C) using ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector and gas chromatography coupled to a flame ionization detector.
Results: In this study, the Ginkgo biloba extract mass, hydrolysis preparation method (with or without reflux), and volume of the extraction solution seemed to affect the ginkgo flavonoid recovery. The UHPLC-based method exhibited higher extraction efficiency for ginkgo flavonoid quantification compared to the pharmacopoeial method. The developed method exhibited higher extraction efficiency for terpene quantification compared to the previous method that used extractive solution without pH adjustment, with less time of extraction and less amount of the sample and organic solvent aliquots.
Conclusion: The UHPLC and GC analysis methods established in this study are both effective and efficient. These methods may improve the quality control procedures for ginkgo extract and commercial products available in today´s natural health product market. The results indicate that redeveloped extraction methods can be a viable alternative to traditional extraction methods.
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