The number of botanical dietary supplements in the market has recently increased primarily due to increased health awareness. Standardization and quality control of the constituents of these plant extracts is an important topic, particularly when such ingredients are used long term as dietary supplements, or in cases where higher doses are marketed as drugs. The development of fast, comprehensive, and effective untargeted analytical methods for plant extracts is of high interest. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are the most informative tools, each of which enables high-throughput and global analysis of hundreds of metabolites in a single step. Although only one of the two techniques is utilized in the majority of plant metabolomics applications, there is a growing interest in combining the data from both platforms to effectively unravel the complexity of plant samples. The application of combined MS and NMR in the quality control of nutraceuticals forms the major part of this review. Finally I will look at the future developments and perspectives of these two technologies for the quality control of herbal materials.
Keywords: ESI, FTICR-MS, LC-MS, Metabolomic fingerprinting, Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Nutraceuticals quality control, Plant metabolomics, Ultra performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS).