Analysis of Tocopherols and Tocotrienols in Pharmaceuticals and Foods: A Critical Review
Dan Lu, Yi Yang, Yongxin Li and Chengjun Sun
Affiliation: West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, No.17, Section 3, South Renmin Road, Chengdu 610041, R.P. China.
Vitamin E (VE) is one category of important fat-soluble vitamins for human normal growth, which consists of
eight isomers known as α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocopherol and α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocotrienol. Each of the isomers has unique and potent
physiological functions, thus it is important to analyze VE isomers respectively. This review briefly introduces
physiological functions of tocopherols and tocotrienols, and presents the progress of sample pretreatment and analysis of
these compounds in pharmaceuticals and foods in the last decade, then makes a comparison in the aspects of sensitivity,
selectivity and simplicity of the various analytical methods. Due to their high efficiency, speedness, inexpensiveness and
environmental friendliness, nano-LC and capillary electrophoresis including non-aqueous capillary electrophoresis
(NACE), capillary electrochromatography (CEC) and microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography (MEEKC) have been
applied in the analysis of VE family, which will also be discussed in this review.
Keywords: Foods, pharmaceuticals, physiological functions, tocopherols, tocotrienols, vitamin E.
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