Heart-cutting two-dimensional liquid chromatography combined with isotope ratio mass spectrometry for the determination of stable carbon isotope ratios of gluconic acid in honey
Suto, M.; Kawashima, H.; Suto, N.
Journal of Chromatography. a 1608: 460421
ISSN/ISBN: 1873-3778 PMID: 31405574 DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2019.460421
Liquid chromatography/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (LC/IRMS) is used to analyze various types of samples, including foodstuffs, to determine their authenticity and trace their origin on the basis of their stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C). However, multicomponent samples are difficult to analyze. For example, determining the δ13C values of the organic acids in honey is complicated by the presence of large amounts of carbohydrates. Herein, we present a heart-cutting two-dimensional LC/IRMS method for analysis of honey samples. In this method, the organic acids in the samples were first separated from the carbohydrates by a size-exclusion column, and then the organic acids were separated from each other by a reverse-phase column connected to the first column via a switching valve. By means of this method, the δ13C values for three organic acids in high-carbohydrate-content simulated honey samples could be determined with high accuracy and precision (≤0.3‰ and ≤0.1‰, respectively). In addition, the gluconic acid δ13C values for 25 honey samples were determined with high precision and found to range from -31.7 to -28.5‰ (mean: -30.0 ± 0.7‰). These values shed some light on the mechanism of gluconic acid production. Taken together, our results suggest that this two-dimensional LC method has the potential to be more effective than one-dimensional LC for use in isotopic research.