A comparative liquid chromatographic study of the triterpenic fractions of plant resins (olibanum, dammar and mastic) was performed using two different chromatographic columns, namely the conventional RP-18e Purospher STAR and the Kinetex RP-18 Phenomenex. The mobile phase was composed of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) grade water and acetonitrile. The flow rate of the mobile phase and the gradient of temperature in the column oven were separately programmed according to the column used. All chromatograms were recorded at 210 nm. Identification of the triterpenic compounds present was carried out by comparing both their characteristic chromatographic retention time and their ultra-violet spectra with those referenced in the bibliographic literature. The triterpenic molecules were co-injected with commercially available molecules of high purity. Optimized protocols for HPLC-PDA (Photodiode Array Detector) analysis were successfully applied to an archaeological sample from Ancient Egypt wherein purification of the sample by solid phase extraction (SPE) was carried out before the sample analysis with the Kinetex column. The existing experimental conditions improved when the chromatographic procedure mentioned above was applied, resulting in a reduction of the acquisition time taken to identify triterpenic resinous materials found in archaeological samples.
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