This paper highlights the importance of recording at least a (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrum to verify identity of standards used in analyses of organic materials irrespective of source. We show the importance of this approach with an example of a quantitative high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) study undertaken with green tea extracts that required the use of several polyphenols as standards. In the course of the study one of these standards [(-)-epigallocatechin, EGC], although having the physical appearance and appropriate HPLC chromatographic behavior of EGC, proved by (1)H-NMR to be a completely different class of molecule. For us, this raised significant questions concerning validity of many published pieces of research that used quantitative HPLC methods without first performing rigorous validation of the employed standards prior to their use. This paper clearly illustrates the importance of validation of all standards used in analysis of organic materials by recording at least a (1)H-NMR spectrum of them prior to their use.
The paper is published online in PLoS ONE and is free to access.