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Qualitative Detection of Triterpenes and Quantification of Betulinic Acid from Hexane Extract of Simarouba glauca Leaves by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography

Author(s): S. Ashida*, P. Nusaifa Beevi, R. V. Sushama Raj and C. Prabhakumari
Department of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi (MG) College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695004, 1Iqbal College, Peringammala 695563, 2Velu Thampi Memorial Nair Service Society (V. T. M. N. S. S) College, 695503, 3CEPCI Lab and Research Institute, Kollam 691001, India

Correspondence Address:
S. Ashida, Department of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi (MG) College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695004, India, E-mail:

The present study focuses on the efficiency of high-performance thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis in qualitative and quantitative analysis of triterpenoid from the terpene fraction of hexane extract of Simarouba glauca leaves. The total terpenoid content of the hexane extract was assessed which shows that 73.69 % of the extract content is terpenoid. The terpene fraction extracted in petroleum ether from the hexane extract of Simarouba glauca leaves was subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and high-performance thin layer chromatography analysis. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis results indicated seventeen compounds out of which only one was triterpene (Squalene an important bioactive triterpenoid). In high-performance thin layer chromatography the separation was achieved by using hexane:ethyl acetate in a 5:5 proportion as mobile phase and anisaldehyde sulphuric acid reagent was used for derivatization which imparted violet color to the triterpenoid containing bands. Detection and quantification of betulinic acid and other triterpenes was done by densitometric scanning at 525 nm. Betulinic acid produced compact spots at Rf 0.66. Linear range of betulinic acid was prepared using concentrations 1-7 μg/spot with a correlation coefficient R2 and standard deviation of 0.96004 %±19.68 % respectively. The results indicated the presence of 10 triterpenoids showing different Rf values including betulinic acid. This study confirmed the presence of betulinic acid in the terpene fraction of the hexane extract of Simarouba glauca leaves.

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