Rapid screening and quantification of sulfonate derivatives in white peony root by UHPLC-MS-MS
A rapid ultra-high-performance liquid chromatographic– tandem mass spectrometric (UHPLC–MS–MS) method has been developed for rapid screening and quantitative analysis of sulfonate derivatives (SDs) in commercial white peony root. Separation was performed on an Agilent Zorbax Eclipse Plus-C18 column by gradient elution with acetonitrile–0.1% (v/v) formic acid as the mobile phase. Insource fragmentation was used to generate the characteristic fragment ion at m/z 259 and to screen for nine SDs. Detection of these SDs was further performed in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode to improve sensitivity and to quantify the two SDs paeoniflorin sulfonate and benzoylpaeoniflorin sulfonate. The method was validated for specificity, linearity, limits of detection and quantification, precision, accuracy, and matrix effects. Nine commercial white peony root samples were examined by use of this method, which revealed great variety in the paeoniflorin sulfonate and benzoylpaeoniflorin sulfonate content.