Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : As herbal medicines have an important position in health care systems worldwide, their current assessment and quality control are a major bottleneck. Over the past decade, major steps were taken not only to improve the quality of the herbal products but also to develop analytical methods ensuring their quality. Nowadays, chromatographic fingerprinting is the generally accepted technique for the assessment and quality control of herbal products. This paper briefly considers the evolution of the regulations and guidelines on the quality control of herbal medicines, and reviews the established analytical techniques for herbal fingerprinting with an emphasis on the most recent developments, such as miniaturized techniques, new stationary phases, analysis at high temperatures and multi-dimensional chromatography. Accessory to the new analytical techniques, the chemometric data handling techniques applied are discussed. Chemometrics provide scientists with useful tools in understanding the huge amounts of data generated by the analytical advances and prove to be valuable for quality control, classification and modelling of, and discrimination between herbal fingerprints.