Use of UFLC-PDA for the analysis of organic acids in thirty-five species of food and medicinal plants.
Analysis of organic acids has become increasingly important due to their role in the physiological activity of plants, and many separation methods have been developed for the simultaneous determination of these compounds in plant samples. Herein, ultra fast liquid chromatography and photodiode array detection (UFLC-PDA) was applied to the analysis of organic acids in young shoots, leaves, aerial parts and flowering shoots, as well as in flowers and fruits, of 35 plant species, according to their traditional use. The studied plants were divided in three groups: traditionally cultivated food plants, wild edible plants and wild medicinal plants. Most of the species were characterized for the first time. Among all the analysed species, Rumex acetosella leaves and aerial parts revealed the highest content of total organic acids. Overall, the organic acids found in the studied plant species make them suitable to be used as food additives such as antioxidants (e.g. ascorbic acid) or acidulants (e.g. citric and malic acids).