NOVEL ADVANCEMENTS IN SEPARATION SCIENCE FOR NATURAL PRODUCT RESEARCH – APPLICATIONS IN PHYTOPHARMACY, PHYTOCOSMETICS AND PHYTONUTRITION
New approaches in analytical chemistry are increasingly important for natural product research, and innovative advances in separation science enable exploration of inaccessible areas of natural product isolation. Since herbal preparations such as plant extracts often contain multi-component mixtures with hundreds or thousands of small molecules in different concentrations, their separation and analysis is often difficult to perform. Therefore, novel enrichment and purification methods based on advanced solid phase extraction techniques were developed to reduce the complexity of plant extracts while using HPLC for separation, preconcentration and fractionation. The ability to apply these techniques to robotic systems allows for high throughput screening. Significant advances have been made in the development of new stationary phases that can be tailored to a specific application, thus offering endless opportunities to optimize selectivity. A further coupling to high-resolution mass spectrometry facilitates the identification and quantification of active substances in natural products. In addition, the combination of separation science with spectroscopy offers the possibility of combining different technologies in phytopharmacy and food analysis. Near and mid-infrared spectroscopy enable rapid and simultaneous qualitative and quantitative analysis of raw plants and liquid extracts without destruction. In addition, infrared imaging was used to study the distribution of active ingredients in plant materials. All of these approaches offer new strategies for quality control in phytoanalysis and enable deeper insights into the biochemical background of medically relevant issues. In this talk, new approaches in analytical chemistry for various applications in the fields of phytopharmacy, phytocosmetics and phytonutrition will be presented and discussed.