Rapid quality control of medicine and food dual purpose plant polysaccharides by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry†
With their multiple biological activities and health benefit effects, polysaccharides from medicine and food dual purpose plants (MFDPPPs) have been extensively applied in many fields, including in medical treatments, stock farming, and cosmetics. However, to date, quality issues of MFDPPPs and technologies for the analysis of polysaccharides have posed challenges to chemists. Reported herein is a rapid and high-throughput quality control method for analyzing MFDPPPs, based on matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). For the analysis of illegally added and doped substances, ferroferric oxide nanoparticles were employed as the MALDI matrix to avoid small molecule interference. Qualitatively, high sensitivity was obtained for both illegal drugs and glucose. Quantitatively, the best linear response (R2 > 0.99) was attained in the concentration range from 0.005 to 1 mg mL−1 for glucose. For the analysis of polysaccharides, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid/N-methylaniline was employed as the MALDI matrix to increase the detection sensitivity and mass range coverage. Furthermore, the established method was successfully applied to the analysis of supplements from Astragalus polysaccharides and Lentinan real samples, showing its potential in quality control for MFDPPPs.