Flow-injection mass spectrometry (FI/MS) represents a powerful analytical tool for the quality assessment of herbal formula in dietary supplements. In this study, we described a scaffold (proof-of-concept) adapted from spectroscopy to quantify Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum in a popular Cordyceps sinensis /Ganoderma lucidum -enriched health beverage by utilizing flow-injection/mass spectrometry/artificial neural network (FI/MS/ANN) model fingerprinting method with feature selection capability. Equal proportion of 0.1% formic acid and methanol (v/v) were used to convert extracts of Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum into their respective ions under positive MS polarity condition. No chromatographic separation was performed. The principal m/z values of Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum were identified as: 104.2, 116.2, 120.2, 175.2, 236.3, 248.3, 266.3, 366.6 and 498.6; 439.7, 469.7, 511.7, 551.6, 623.6, 637.7 and 653.6, respectively. ANN models representing Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum were individually trained and validated using three independent sets of matrix-free and matrix-matched calibration curves at concentration levels of 2, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 400 μg mL-1. Five repeat analyses provided a total of 180 spectra for herbal extracts of Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum. Root-mean-square-deviation (RMSE) were highly satisfactory at <4% for both training and validation models. Correlation coefficient (r2) values of between 0.9994 and 0.9997 were reported. Matrix blanks comprised of complex mixture of Lingzhi fermentation solution and collagen. Recovery assessment was performed over two days using six sets of matrix blank (n=6) spiked at three concentration levels of approximately 83, 166 and 333 mg kg-1. Extraction using acetonitrile provided good overall recovery range of 92-118%. A quantitation limit of 0.2 mg L-1 was reported for both Cordyceps sinensis and Ganoderma lucidum. Intra-day and inter-day RMSE values of 7% or better were achieved. Application of the scaffold in a high-throughput routine environment would imply a significant reduction in effort and time, since the option of having a model driven analytical solution is now available.
Keywords: Cordyceps sinensis, Ganoderma lucidum, MS, Fingerprinting, ANN, Quantitation