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Quality Control Marker and Its Use in Herbs Authentication

Technology Overview

As an increase of people’s awareness of health, traditional Chinese medicine, is becoming more popular to be adopted by many Asians. Among many of the Chinese medicines,  Tiepi Shihu (i.e. one of the types of Dendrobium) and Cordyceps sinensis are two of the most expensive products.

Dendrobium is one of the largest genera in the plant family Orchidaceae.  More than 1,100 species of Dendrobium have been identified.  Among them, Tiepi Shihu is traditionally recognised as the best Shihu for tonic purpose, such as nourishing stomach, protecting throat and benefiting eyes. The uncharacteristic appearance and high price of Tiepi Fengdou could lead to the occurrence of adulterants, confused species, and counterfeits.  Therefore, authentication and quality evaluation of Tiepi Fengdou is crucial for ensuring safety and efficacy.

One is the conventional method which greatly depends on the experience of botanical experts and subjective judgement while the other is based on DNA bio-coding, which is very expensive and time consuming. As known in the industry, the existing methodologies are extremely intricate, difficult and time consuming, and therefore not suitable for routine quality control.

The invention is based on the polysaccharide marker authentication which can be successfully applied to the authentication of Tiepi Shihu and Cordyceps samples. We proved that only a real Tiepi Shihu or Cordyceps sample shows its unique peak at the high molecular size range in high performance gel permeation chromatography (HPGPC). Apart from authentication, this method can identify the quality by distinguishing the quantity of the polysaccharide.  

Technology Features & Specifications

The key of this technology is to provide low cost, efficient, stable and convenient tool with reduced uncertainties in qualitative and quantitative evaluation of Dendrobium officinale. The technology is now being adopted by the industry for both qualitative and quantitative authentication of herbal materials. Similar technology has been successfully developed for the authentication of Cordyceps.

Potential Applications

The invention is based on the polysaccharide marker authentication which can be successfully applied to the authentication of expensive Chinese medicine such as Tiepi Shihu and Cordyceps samples. Currently, this is being adopted by the industry for both qualitative and quantitative authentication of these expensive Chinese medicine.

A customer base platform is currently being developed to provide more services for authentication of more different types of expensive Chinese medicines such as Ejiao.

Customer Benefits

It facilitates the upgrading of traditional Chinese medicine industry with the support of innovative technologies and helps boost consumer confidence in the long run.

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