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October 2021

J AOAC Int. 1998 Nov-Dec; 81(6): 1121-7.

Solid-phase extraction cleanup and liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection of ephedrine alkaloids in herbal products.

Hurlbut JA, Carr JR, Singleton ER, Faul KC, Madson MR, Storey JM, Thomas TL.

Metropolitan State College of Denver, Chemistry Department, CO 80217, USA.

A solid-phase extraction (SPE) cleanup and a liquid chromatographic (LC) method with UV detection is presented for analysis of up to 7 ephedrine alkaloids in herbal products. Alkaloids from herbal products are extracted with acidified buffer, isolated on a propylsulfonic acid SPE column, eluted with a high-ionic-strength buffer, and separated by LC with detection at 255 nm. LC separation is performed by isocratic elution on a YMC phenyl column with 0.1 M sodium acetate-acetic acid (pH = 4.8) containing triethyl-amine and 2% acetonitrile. Ephedrine alkaloids are completely separated in 15 min. Average recovery of 5 common alkaloids from 3 spiked matrixes is 90%, with an average relative standard deviation (RSD) of 4.4% for alkaloid spikes between 0.5 and 16 mg/g. Average quantitation of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine from 6 herbal products is 97% of declared label claims, and average quantitation of synephrine from an herbal dietary product is 85% of label claim (RSD, 3.2%). Recoveries of synephrine, norephedrine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, N-methylephedrine, and N-methylpseudoephedrine spiked in 4 herbal products averaged 95%. Results of ruggedness testing and of a second laboratory validation of the procedure are also presented.

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