Current issues in Authentication and Quality control of Natural Products
In the last decades, the use of products of natural origin has remarkably increased in the global market, because of consumers becoming more health-conscious, herbal medicines are considered safe by consumers and these products are generally less expensive than allopathic medicines. Only a limited percentage is represented by the category of Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPs) whose purity, safety, potency and efficacy is guaranteed by the regulatory authorities. In fact, many case of toxicity have been reported, in some cases due to errors in species identification that is, or should be, one of the first steps in herbal quality control protocol. Established methodical processes are necessary to standardize herbal medicines to produce consistent and reproducible products. Herbal Medicines pose significant standardization and quality control challenges due to their innate phytochemicals complexity and interspecies variability. Standardization and quality control involves inter alia the authentication of plants followed by the quantification of identified biomarkers and the selection and cultivation of the chemotype with the desired characteristics. The aim of this paper was to review the current issues, trends in authentication and Quality control of Natural Products.