Near infrared spectroscopy in natural products analysis

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Cozzolino, D 2009, ' Near infrared spectroscopy in natural products analysis, Planta Medica, vol. 75, no. 7, pp. 746-756.

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Several medicinal and herbal plants properties are related to individual compounds such as essential oils, terpenoids, flavonoids, which are present in natural products in low concentrations (e. g., ppm or ppb). For many years, the use of classical separation and chromatographic and spectrometric techniques such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) were initially used for the elucidation of isolated compounds from different plant matrices. Spectroscopic techniques in the infrared (IR) wavelength region of the electromagnetic spectrum have been used in the food industry to monitor and evaluate the composition of foods. Although Herschel discovered light in the near-infrared (NIR) region as early as 1800, most spectroscopists of the first half of the last century ignored it, in the belief that it lacked any analytical interest. However, during the last 40 years NIR spectroscopy has become one of the most attractive and used methods for analysis. This mini-review highlights recent applications of NIR spectroscopy to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of plant natural products.

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