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Development and evaluation of a new method for the determination of the carotenoid content in selected vegetables by HPLC and HPLC-MS-MS



Development and evaluation of a new method for the determination of the carotenoid content in selected vegetables by HPLC and HPLC-MS-MS



Journal of Chromatographic Science 38(10): 441-449, October



Epidemologic studies have shown inverse correlation between the consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables and the incidence of cancer. Therefore, analytical techniques for the quantitative determination of carotenoids in complex sample matrices are important. The most used method is reversed-phase (RP)-high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In this study, seventeen mobile-phase systems described in the literature and six RP-HPLC columns with differences in particle size and porosity are evaluated. Derived from these results, a new mobile-phase (acetonitrile, methanol, chloroform, and n-heptane) including solvent modifiers is presented, which allows an improved and more efficient separation of carotenoids. From all columns tested, the best chromatographic parameters are found using a silica C18 column (250 x 2 mm, 5 microm, 100 A). As was found, absorbance detection at 450 nm allows the determination of the carotenoids down to the picogram range with good linearity (R2 > 0.98). For the identification and quantitation of carotenoids in complex sample matrices (containing additionally other ultraviolet-absorbing compounds), the optimized RP chromatographic system is coupled to a mass spectrometer (MS) using an atmospheric pressure ionization interface. The calibration plots show high linearity (R2 > 0.99), and the detection limit is found in the lower nanogram range. Furthermore, collision-induced dissociation in the ion source allows for the identification of carotenoids by their characteristic fragmentation pathways. In this study, a total of nine species of vegetables commonly consumed in Central Europe are analyzed for their contents of carotenoids (namely lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, and beta-carotene) by RP-HPLC and RP-HPLC-MS-MS. It is found that good sources for lutein are spinach, kale, and broccoli, and sources for beta-carotene are broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, and tomatoes. This new method is an improvement for the identification and quantitation of carotenoids in complex biological tissues.

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Accession: 010445955

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11048781

DOI: 10.1093/chromsci/38.10.441



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