(Received 24 October 1996; accepted 6 February 1997)
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One hundred eighty-three suspect bear bile used in medicinal products, collected in Taiwan as gall bladders or dried powder forms, were analyzed using FTIR, HPTLC, and HPLC techniques to identify whether they are indeed bear bile. Those confirmed were further examined to determine whether the observed analytical parameters can be reliably used for source inference, i.e., differentiating products among North American black bear, farmed Asiatic black bear, polar bear, etc. Our data suggested that North American and polar bears contain a higher concentration of TC (relative to TUDC and TCDC), whereas the relative concentration of TC in Asiatic bears (wild or farmed) is much lower. Thus, the relative concentration of TC can potentially be used for differentiating Asiatic bear bile from North American and polar bear products, but it cannot be used for the differentiation of wild and farmed bear bile as suggested in an earlier report by Espinoza et al. The origin of the 183 samples analyzed were found to be as follows: 118 (64%), bile salts, or gall bladders were of domestic pig; 56 (31%), bile products of Asiatic bear; 4 (2.2%), Asiatic bear mixed with pig bile salts; 3 (1.6%) goat gall bladders; 1 (0.55%) water buffalo bile salts; and 1 (0.55%), pig bile salts mixed with water buffalo bile salts.
Scientific and Technical Research Center, Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, Taipei,
Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Taipei Medical College, Taipei,
China Medical College, Taichung,
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