The study of plant extracts can provide numerous benefits in treating modern day diseases. However analysis of these complex phytochemicals can be problematic due to the high cost of labor and time. Most analytical methods for plant extracts employ a combination of bioactivity assays and separation steps to isolate a few target compounds from a pool of numerous components. However there is possible risk for loss of target compounds during
the separation stage, and the disregarding of many active compounds not screened by the bio-assays used, not to mention blindness of molecular information.
Recently scientists from the Korea Basic Science Institute have developed an improved method of analysis using ultra-high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (UHR ESI MS). The experiment conducted on ginseng extract reported a higher throughput in determining phytochemicals and molecular information.