ASCORBIC ACID IS VIRTUALLY DEGRADED IN DRIED HERBAL PRODUCTS – AN HPLC ASSESSMENT OF SIX PLANT SPECIES
ROBERT ANCUCEANU1, CORINA ARAMA1*, ALEXANDRA FILARETA NEAGU1, MIHAELA DINU1, MARILENA VIORICA HOVANET1, OCTAVIAN TUDOREL OLARU1, CARMEN POPESCU2, ADRIANA IULIANA ANGHEL1
1.“Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Faculty of Pharmacy
2.“Vasile Goldiș” Western University of Arad
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Ascorbic acid is almost universally present in the living world (humans are a notable exception) and herbal medicinal
products are relatively often presented as source of ascorbic acid. We hereby report the results of an HPLC assessment of the
ascorbic acid contents in vegetative organs (roots and other subterraneous organs, stems, leaves) of six herbal species, the
main finding being that dried parts of all six species (derived from culture sources) are virtually devoid of ascorbic acid
(under the detection limit). Ascorbic acid is particularly unstable in extractive solutions prepared from these species, despite
of the use of conventional stabilization methods such as the use of inorganic or organic acids (ortho-phosphoric, oxalic).
Although acetonitrile is considered to act as a stabilizer (reducing fourfold the degradation rate of ascorbic acid), it was
ineffective in stabilizing the ascorbic acid during extraction. Using methanol as an extraction solvent it was ensured the
stability of this natural compound for about 3 hours.