Authentication of Garcinia fruits and food supplements using DNA barcoding and NMR spectroscopy.
Garcinia L. (Clusiaceae) fruits are a rich source of (−)-hydroxycitric acid, and this has gained considerable attention as an anti-obesity agent and a popular weight loss food supplement. In this study, we assessed adulteration of morphologically similar samples of Garciniausing DNA barcoding, and used NMR to quantify the content of (−)-hydroxycitric acid and (−)-hydroxycitric acid lactone in raw herbal drugs and Garcinia food supplements. DNA barcoding revealed that mostly G. gummi-gutta (previously known as G. cambogia) and G. indicawere traded in Indian herbal markets, and there was no adulteration. The content of (−)-hydroxycitric acid and (−)-hydroxycitric acid lactone in the two species varied from 1.7% to 16.3%, and 3.5% to 20.7% respectively. Analysis of ten Garcinia food supplements revealed a large variation in the content of (−)-hydroxycitric acid, from 29 mg (4.6%) to 289 mg (50.6%) content per capsule or tablet. Only one product contained quantifiable amounts of (−)-hydroxycitric acid lactone. Furthermore the study demonstrates that DNA barcoding and NMR could be effectively used as a regulatory tool to authenticate Garciniafruit rinds and food supplements.