Botanical groups, including American Botanical Council, partner with HPTLC association on analytical methods information

Under the agreement, the botanical groups’ members will be able to freely access research, analytical, and educational electronic content owned by the HPTLC Association.

U.S. botanical leaders have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an HPTLC association to share information about analytical methods for testing herbal ingredients.

The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX), the nonprofit American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP; Scotts Valley, CA), and the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP, a partnership between ABC, AHP, and the National Center for Natural Products Research) signed the agreement with the International Association for the Advancement of High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC Association; Switzerland).

Under the agreement, the botanical groups’ members, as well as registered users of the BAPP website, will be able to freely access research, analytical, and educational electronic content owned by the HPTLC Association. The HPTLC Association’s analytical Methods Collection includes 285 different entries for the identification of herbal ingredients.

According to a press release, “One of the highlights of the association’s work is the HPTLC Atlas (referred to as “The International Atlas for Identification of Herbal Drugs” on the HPTLC Association’s website), an online compendium with illustrated HPTLC fingerprints from the same plant species collected in many places around the world that are subject to different growing conditions. As such, this robust resource allows laboratory analysts to compare the chemical variability of plants from different geographical areas.” The Atlas also contains chemical fingerprints of adulterants, which the botanical supply chain can use in authenticating herbal ingredients.

“We are deeply grateful for this excellent collaboration with our friends at the HPTLC Association who have generously made their high-quality analytical resources available to botanical ingredient quality control personnel on an international basis,” said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC and director of BAPP, in a press release. “The vast range of HPTLC fingerprints will no doubt assist botanical industry members on a global scale in ensuring that plant materials being proposed for use as ingredients for consumer botanical health products are authentic and free from non-disclosed adulterants that are sometimes added to botanical ingredients by unscrupulous producers and sellers of fraudulent materials.”

Roy Upton, president of AHP, said, “AHP believes that HPTLC is one of the most versatile and cost-effective techniques for chemical profiling and identification of plants that is of enormous value to industry and academics.”

Maged Sharaf, PhD, an HPTLC Association board member and chair of its Method Review Committee and North American Chapter, said, “We are certain that this mutually beneficial partnership will further promote ABC’s vision of the public making ‘educated, responsible choices about herbal medicine as an accepted part of healthcare,’ which is analogous to one of the HPTLC Association’s missions.”