Metabolic profiling of Glycyrrhiza glabra using comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC × LC) coupled with photodiode array (PDA) and mass spectrometry (MS) detection is described. The separation was conducted under reversed-phase conditions, using a combination of first dimension (1D) 150 mm microbore cyano column utilising 2.7 μm diameter (dp) particles, and second dimension (2D) 50 mm superficially porous octadecylsilica column with 2.7 μm dp particles. A multi-segmented shift gradient (MSG) for the 2D separation was developed, and the orthogonality achieved was compared with other modes of gradients, such as full in-fraction, and shift gradient systems. Results demonstrated a significant expansion of metabolic coverage using MSG in 2D, providing the highest measure of orthogonality compared to other gradient modes. Compound identifications were performed by employing complementary data from PDA and MS detection, with reference to structural group-type distribution in 2D space. A total of ca. 120 compounds were detected, and among them 37 were tentatively identified, distributed over the chemical families of glycosylated flavanones, triterpene saponins, and others. In comparison with one-dimensional LC, the total number of compounds detected was ca. 2-fold greater when LC × LC was employed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of the MSG mode in LC × LC, representing a powerful strategy to expand the metabolic coverage for analysis of plant-derived extracts, containing a multitude of different phytochemical classes.
- Metabolic coverage
- Plant extracts