High-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry was used to develop and validate a rapid method to qualitatively and quantitatively analyse 18 common adulterants in herbal medicine and food samples. Initially, the mobile phase composition was optimized in three different columns: core-shell, monolithic and standard 3.5-μm-particle-size columns. The results show that the core-shell column provides the best separation. Moreover, the tandem mass spectrometry was optimized. The linear range for all adulterants was 0.5-500 μgmL-1. Finally, the samples that were supplied by the Public Authority of Customer Protection, Ministry of Health, and those collected from the local market were analysed. The results indicate that 7 of 33 analysed samples contained adulterants. The adulterated samples mainly contain sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil. The concentrations of these three adulterants in the samples were 0.18-39 wt%. This study is the first report in the Sultanate of Oman about adulteration in herbal medicine and food samples. The results clearly raise some concern and require proper plan of action to increase public awareness about this serious issue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry