Occurrence of ochratoxin A in Astragalus propinquus root and its transfer to decoction
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The aim of this study was to conduct a survey assessing (a) the ochratoxin A (OTA) content in different samples of Astragalus propinquus root (AR), one of the fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, and (b) the rate of OTA transfer to AR decoctions that are traditionally used to reduce general weakness and increase overall vitality. A validated method of high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FLD) was used to determine OTA concentrations in AR samples and AR decoctions. The limit of quantification was 0.35 ng/g; the recovery of the HPLC method for AR samples was 82%; and the relative standard deviation (SD) of repeatability was 2.6%. All 40 tested AR samples were positive, with a mean value of 451.0 ng/g (range, 28.8–1700.0 ng/g). The transfer rate of OTA to decoctions, from a naturally contaminated and homogenized AR sample (internal reference material) with a concentration of OTA of 288.9 ng/g ± 12.3 (SD), was 83.4% ± 8.5 (SD). We believe it is necessary to continue OTA monitoring in AR and other herbal products, estimate the actual human usual intake, and perform health risk assessment.
KeywordsAstragalus propinquus Schischkin Herbal food supplement Herbal products HPLC-FLD Ochratoxin A Traditional Chinese medicine
This study received a financial support from the specific research project (No. 2113/2016) of Faculty of Science, University Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, and from the project of Ministry of Health, Czech Republic conceptual development of research organization (“National Institute of Public Health – NIPH, IN 75010330”).
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Conflict of interest
The authors confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication.
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