Chemical quantification and antioxidant assay of four active components in Ficus hirta root using UPLC-PAD-MS fingerprinting combined with cluster analysis

Tao YI, Qilei Chen, Xicheng He, Suiwai So, Yuenling Lo, Lanlan Fan, Jun XU, Yina Tang, Jianye Zhang, Zhongzhen ZHAO, Hubiao CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Root of Ficus hirta (RFH) is widely consumed in China as a plant-derived popular food. However, contents of the active constituents of RFH are unknown, and the chemical as well as bioactive properties of RFH may be affected by growing area. In order to ensure the standard efficacy of health products made with RFH, its active constituents should firstly be determined and, secondly, a means of assessing samples for their contents of these constituents is needed.Results: Four active components, including two coumarins, namely psoralen and bergapten, and two flavonoids, namely luteolin and apigenin, in twenty RFH samples were quantified using a new ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detector and mass spectrometry (UPLC-PAD-MS) method, and the content level in descending order was psoralen > bergapten > luteolin > apigenin. Chromatographic fingerprint similarity evaluation and cluster analysis were used to assess geographical origin of RFH, and the results revealed a high level of similarity for the tested RFH samples obtained from Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi provinces and Hong Kong. 2, 2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay was conducted to evaluate the antioxidant potencies of the four components, and the results clearly demonstrated that luteolin was most effective; apigenin exhibited a moderate potency, whereas psoralen and bergapten possessed little effect against free radical reactions. Structure-activity relationship of the components was elucidated, and the 3′-hydroxyl group of luteolin was found to be directly responsible for its antioxidant activity.Conclusion: The present UPLC-PAD-MS method and DPPH radical scavenging assay performed well for the purpose of constituent quantification and antioxidant assay. Global profiles were highly similar for RFH samples from different origins. Both the coumarins and flavonoids were involved in the health benefit of RFH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
JournalChemistry Central Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Antioxidant capacity
  • Chemical quantification
  • Ficus hirta
  • Fingerprinting


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical quantification and antioxidant assay of four active components in Ficus hirta root using UPLC-PAD-MS fingerprinting combined with cluster analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this