OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare the phytochemical composition of 7 varieties growing in different conditions at various geographical locations. We also aimed to establish the quality control markers for the authentication of these varieties.
METHODS: We applied untargeted UHPLC-TOFMS metabolomics to discriminate 100 leaf samples of F. deltoidea collected from 6 locations in Malaysia. A genetic analysis on 21 leaf samples was also performed to validate the chemotaxonomy differentiation.
RESULTS: The PCA and HCA analysis revealed the existence of 3 chemotypes based on the differentiation in the flavonoid content. The PLS-DA analysis identified 15 glycosylated flavone markers together with 1 furanocoumarin. These markers were always consistent for the respective varieties, regardless of the geographical locations and growing conditions. The chemotaxonomy differentiation was in agreement with the DNA sequencing. In particular, var. bilobata accession which showed divergent morphology was also differentiated by the chemical fingerprints and genotype.
CONCLUSION: Chemotype differentiation based on the flavonoid fingerprints along with the proposed markers provide a powerful identification tool to complement morphology and genetic analyses for the quality control of raw materials and products from F. deltoidea.
RESULTS: A total of 31 constituents comprising primary and secondary metabolites belonging to the chemical classes of fatty acids, amino acids, sugars, terpenoids and phenolic compounds were identified. Shade-dried leaves were identified to possess the highest concentrations of bioactive secondary metabolites such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, luteolin, orthosiphol and apigenin, followed by microwave-dried samples. Freeze-dried leaves had higher concentrations of choline, amino acids leucine, alanine and glutamine and sugars such as fructose and α-glucose, but contained the lowest levels of secondary metabolites.
CONCLUSION: Metabolite profiling coupled with multivariate analysis identified shade drying as the best method to prepare OS leaves as Java tea or to include in traditional medicine preparation. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.