Planta Med
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-119887
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Hyperspectral Imaging and Support Vector Machine: A Powerful Combination to Differentiate Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) from Other Cohosh Species

Sidonie Tankeu1, Ilze Vermaak1, 2, Weiyang Chen1, Maxleene Sandasi1, Guy Kamatou1, Alvaro Viljoen1, 2
  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
  • 2SAMRC Herbal Drugs Research Unit, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Further Information

Publication History

received 09 May 2017
revised 31 August 2017

accepted 14 September 2017

Publication Date:
06 October 2017 (eFirst)


Actaea racemosa (black cohosh) has a history of traditional use in the treatment of general gynecological problems. However, the plant is known to be vulnerable to adulteration with other cohosh species. This study evaluated the use of shortwave infrared hyperspectral imaging (SWIR-HSI) in tandem with chemometric data analysis as a fast alternative method for the discrimination of four cohosh species (Actaea racemosa, Actaea podocarpa, Actaea pachypoda, Actaea cimicifuga) and 36 commercial products labelled as black cohosh. The raw material and commercial products were analyzed using SWIR-HSI and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) followed by chemometric modeling. From SWIR-HSI data (920 – 2514 nm), the range containing the discriminating information of the four species was identified as 1204 – 1480 nm using Matlab software. After reduction of the data set range, partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and support vector machine discriminant analysis (SVM-DA) models with coefficients of determination (R2 ) of ≥ 0.8 were created. The novel SVM-DA model showed better predictions and was used to predict the commercial product content. Seven out of 36 commercial products were recognized by the SVM-DA model as being true black cohosh while 29 products indicated adulteration. Analysis of the UHPLC-MS data demonstrated that six commercial products could be authentic black cohosh. This was confirmed using the fragmentation patterns of three black cohosh markers (cimiracemoside C; 12-β,21-dihydroxycimigenol-3-O-L-arabinoside; and 24-O-acetylhydroshengmanol-3-O-β-D-xylopyranoside). SWIR-HSI in conjunction with chemometric tools (SVM-DA) could identify 80% adulteration of commercial products labelled as black cohosh.

Supporting Information