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UPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS Analysis for Steaming Times-dependent Profiling of Steamed Panax quinquefolius and Its Ginsenosides Transformations Induced by Repetitious Steaming

Journal of Ginseng Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.5142/jgr.2012.36.3.277
  • Articles
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


The metabolic profiles of Panax quinquefolius and its associated therapeutic values are critically affected by the repetitious steaming times. The times-dependent steaming effect of P. quinquefolius is not well-characterized and there is also no official guideline on its times of steaming. In this paper, a UPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS method was developed for the qualitative profiling of multi-parametric metabolic changes of raw P. quinquefolius during the repetitious steaming process. Our method was successful in discriminating the differentially multi-steamed herbs. Meantime, the repetitious steaming-inducing chemical transformations in the preparation of black American ginseng (American ginseng that was subjected to 9 cycles of steaming treatment) were evaluated by this UPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS based chemical profiling method. Under the optimized UPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS conditions, 29 major ginsenosides were unambiguously identified and/or tentatively assigned in both raw and multi-steamed P. quinquefolius within 19 min, among them 18 ginsenosides were detected to be newly generated during the preparatory process of black American ginseng. The mechanisms involved were further deduced to be hydrolysis, dehydration, decarboxylation and addition reactions of the original ginsenosides in raw P. quinquefolius through analyzing mimic 9 cycles of steaming extracts of 14 pure reference ginsenosides. Our novel steaming times-dependent metabolic profiling approach represents the paradigm shift in the global quality control of multi-steamed P. quinquefolius products.

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