Herbs are high value ingredients, which are vulnerable to adulteration and fraud. Confirmatory methods based on DNA analysis have shown to be the most useful in investigating herb adulteration. In this study, a customised database and bioinformatics pipeline was developed based on a DNA barcoding metagenomics approach to herbal species identification. The pipeline performance was tested with publicly available datasets, as well as, newly sequenced herbal plants and products. The usefulness of metagenomics is limited by the availability of reference sequences and the need for sequencing depth. However, this method shows promise for evaluating the authenticity of different herbal products provided that it is further refined to increase the qualitative and quantitative accuracy.
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