NTP develops strategy to select botanical lots for safety testing
Researchers at the Division of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) at NIEHS have comprehensively characterized an Echinacea purpurea root extract for safety testing. Using DNA and chemistry-based techniques, they authenticated an E. purpurea extract and identified numerous constituents. The proposed approach could be adapted to other botanical dietary supplements.
Supplement use is widespread and increasing. However, there is a significant knowledge gap in the safe use of these products. Due to the popularity of E. purpurea, the team selected it for safety testing using rodent models. To select an authentic material that is representative of what humans are exposed to, the scientists procured multiple lots of Echinacea. They screened the products using nontargeted chemical fingerprinting techniques and chemometric analysis of data to select an extract that is similar to standard reference material. The candidate lot was subsequently authenticated using chromatographic and DNA barcoding methods and characterized to confirm the absence of contaminants and presence of Echinacea-specific constituents. Among many constituents found, the key components were caftaric acid, chicoric acid, chlorogenic acid, and dodeca-2(E),4(E),8(E),10 (E/Z)-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide. (SR)
Citation: Waidyanatha S, Pierfelice J, Cristy T, Mutlu E, Burback B, Rider CV, Ryan K . 2020. A strategy for test article selection and phytochemical characterization of Echinacea purpurea extract for safety testing. Food Chem Toxicol 137:111125.