Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 111, Issue 3, pp 1691–1698 | Cite as

Characterization of herbal medicine with different particle sizes using pyrolysis GC/MS, SEM, and thermal techniques

  • Lidiane Pinto Correia
  • José Valdilânio Virgulino Procópio
  • Cleildo Pereira de Santana
  • Ana Flávia Oliveira Santos
  • Horacinna Maria de Medeiros Cavalcante
  • Rui Oliveira Macêdo


Analytical techniques have been used to characterize compounds from herbal medicine, its products and extracts. The objective of this study was to characterize a variety of particle sizes of Erythrina velutina Willd powder. The samples used in the study were named MUF01 (710 μm), MUF03 (180 μm) and MUF05 (75 μm). The techniques employed were scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermal analysis such as thermogravimetry (TG) and differential thermal analysis (DTA) together with pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Pyr-GC/MS). SEM enabled us to detect the existence of divergences from the expected results from the granulometry process. Thermal analytical techniques (TG and DTA) showed the thermal decomposition profile, corresponding to physical and chemical phenomena. The chromatographic data relative to the peak area of the compounds analyzed evidenced quantitative differences in the chemical compositions of the samples MUF01, MUF03, and MUF05 at 300, 450 and 600 °C. Neophytadiene 2,6,10-trimethyl, 14 and 3-eicosyne were identified by Pyr-GC/MS at 300, 450 and 600 °C, and it classified the samples according the peak area values, which were MUF05 > MUF03 > MUF01. SEM, DTA and TG confirmed this through particle size uniformity, heat flow, and mass loss, respectively.


Erythrina velutina Pyr-GC/MS Thermal analysis Scanning electron microscopy 



The authors thank the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPQ) for their financial support and to the Empresa de Assistência Técnica e Extensão Rural da Paraíba (EMATER) for their technical support in this research.


  1. 1.
    Rabelo LA, Agra MF, Cunha EV, Silva MS, Barbosa JMF. Homohesperetin and phaseollidin from Erythrina velutina. Biochem Syst Ecol. 2001;29:543–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Flausino AOJ, Pereira AM, Silva BV, Souza RLN. Effects of erythrinian alkaloids isolated from Erythrina mulungu (Papilionaceae) in mice submitted to animal models of anxiety. Biol Pharm Bull. 2007;30:375–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Silva-Júnior JOC. Obtenção e avaliação de forma farmacêutica semi-sólida fitoterápica contendo extrato seco por nebulização de Simphytum officinale L. (Confrei), Tese de Doutorado, USP, São Paulo, 2006. p. 127.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wang L, Wang C, Pan Z, Sun Y, Zhu X. Application of pyrolysis-gas chromatography and hierarchical cluster analysis to the discrimination of the Chinese traditional medicine Dendrobium candidum Wall. ex Lindl. J Anal Appl Pyrol. 2011;90:13–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Silva CDJ, Alves PB, Antoniolli AR, Marchioro M. Central nervous system effects of the crude extract of Erythrina velutina on rodents. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;94:129–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Takeshi N, Kawamoto H, Saka SJ. Pyrolysis behavior of Japanese cedar wood lignin studied with various model dimers. J Anal Appl Pyrol. 2008;81:173–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Del río JC, Gutiérrez A, Rodríguez IM, Ibarra D, Martínez ÁT. Composition of non-woody plant lignins and cinnamic acids by Py-GC/MS, Py/TMAH and FT-IR. J Anal Appl Pyrol. 2007;79:39–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zeng ZD, Liang YZ, Zhang T, Chau FT, Wang YL. Orthogonal projection (OP) technique applied to pattern recognition of fingerprints of the herbal medicine Houttuynia cordata Thunb. and its final injection products. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2006;385:392–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yuan M, Zhang MG, Yuan P, Zeng Z, Yan CL. Pyrolysis-gas chromatography fingerprint with fuzzy cluster analysis for Curcuma aromatica Salisb. Chin J Chromatogr. 2003;21:469–71.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Procópio JVV, Souza VG, Costa RA, Correia LP, Souza FS, Macêdo RO. Application of thermal analysis and pyrolysis coupled to GC/MS in the qualification of simvastatin pharmaceutical raw material. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2011;106:665–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Moura EA, Correia LP, Pinto MF, Procópio JVV, Souza FS, de Macêdo RO. Thermal characterization of the solid state and raw material fluconazole by thermal analysis and pyrolysis coupled to GC/EM. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2010;100:289–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Oliveira AH, Moura EA, Pinto MF, Procópio JVV, Souza VG, Souza FS, Macêdo RO. Thermal characterization of raw material pentoxifylline using thermoanalytical techniques and Pyr-GC/MS. J Therm Anal Calorim. 2011;106:763–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Macêdo RO. Tecnologia analítica baseada na pirólise acoplada à cromatografia gasosa/espectrometria de massa para caracterização e obtenção de compostos químicos a partir de extratos de Erythrina mulungu Linné secos por nebulização, PI0800530-3 A2; 2010.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oliveira EJ, Alvarez EDA, Lima NGPB, Macêdo RO. Usefulness of pyrolysis coupled to gas chromatography/mass spectrometry for evaluating the reproducibility of commercial samples of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf Poaceae. Braz J Pharmacogn. 2010;20:93–9.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wesołowski M, Konieczynski P. Thermoanalytical, chemical and principal component analysis of plant drugs. Int J Pharm. 2003;262:29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lidiane Pinto Correia
    • 1
    • 3
  • José Valdilânio Virgulino Procópio
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cleildo Pereira de Santana
    • 3
  • Ana Flávia Oliveira Santos
    • 1
  • Horacinna Maria de Medeiros Cavalcante
    • 2
  • Rui Oliveira Macêdo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesFederal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Unified Laboratories of Pharmaceutical Development and AssaysFederal University of ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil
  3. 3.Pharmacy DepartmentState University of ParaíbaCampina GrandeBrazil

Personalised recommendations