Surface-enhanced Raman on gold nanoparticles for the identification of the most common adulterant of Astragali Radix

Adulterant is a common problem in Astragali Radix (a widely used Chinese herbal medicine). In this study, the surface-enhanced Raman technique was used to identify the authentic Astragali Radix and the most common adulterant with the aim to develop a convenient and sensitive method for the adulterant identification. Surface-enhanced Raman spectra combined with multivariate diagnostic algorithm differentiated the authentic Astragali Radix from the adulterant with high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (97.6%). This exploratory work demonstrates that surface-enhanced Raman technology can be used for the rapid and label-free screening of adulterant and has great potential for the quality control of Chinese herbal.