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DNA barcoding in authentication of herbal raw materials, extracts and dietary supplements: a perspective

  • D. B. Anantha Narayana
  • Sudhakar T. Johnson
Review

Abstract

Cultivation, supply, and availability of unadulterated plant raw material in botanical or herbal industry are a challenging task. Plant species that are either in short supply or in high demand are prone to adulteration and substitution. Such unscrupulous activity results in availability of substandard products with declining quality standards ultimately posing safety concerns and health of consumers. Raw materials which are in the form of dried, fragmented or powdered forms are major victims of adulteration. We present here DNA-based marker approach to authenticate botanicals. Recent research advances such as 2D-electrophoresis, microarray, next generation sequencing, high-resolution melting analysis, and PCR-based methods have been reviewed and their role in authentication of raw material, botanicals in herbal extracts, finished formulations, and ingredients in dietary supplements has been presented. Due to extraction processes such as steaming, extraction at extreme conditions and presence of secondary metabolites original DNA integrity are not preserved which lead to interference with DNA extraction and PCR amplification, thus making DNA unsuitable for further molecular analysis. There is a scope to develop and validate DNA mini-barcodes for finished formulations. DNA barcode along with chromatographic methods, metabolomics, proteomics, and genomics has to be used to resolve substitution and quantity of raw material in ambiguity. Emerging regulatory scenario on DNA barcode in various Pharmacopoeia is presented. Though several advanced methods of botanical authentication are available, an industry always expects simple, cost efficient, and quick method to resolve authentication issues.

Keywords

DNA barcode Botanicals authentication Herbal extracts Herbal raw material Regulatory status 

Notes

Acknowledgements

TSJ thanks Sri Koneru Raja Harin, Vice President, K. L. Education Foundation and Head, Department of Biotechnology, K. L. E. F University for the constant support. The authors have consulted several industry leaders and leading researchers in the field of DNA barcode whose inputs were valuable. We thank them for their support. The authors acknowledge Prof. K. Satyamoorthy and Kalpalatha Rai of Manipal School of Life Sciences, Manipal (Karnataka, India) for undertaking DNA barcode testing and providing the results. We thank Prof. Ambujakshi Reddy of Acharya and B N Reddy College of Pharmacy, Bangalore for providing the photographs of the samples of Nirgundi and permission to use them in this review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Phytopharmaceuticals Group of Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, Non Specified Food and Food Ingredients of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyCenter for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship, K. L. E. F. Deemed to be UniversityGuntur Dt.India
  3. 3.Coordinator, DST, NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator, K. L. E. F Deemed to be UniversityGuntur Dt.India
  4. 4.BangaloreIndia

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