Background: Non-allomerized chlorophylls a and b are part of a great diversity
of environments: senescent and ripened vegetal tissues, processed foods, sediments, fecal
pellets, etc. Consequently, the articles characterizing their mass spectrometry behavior belong
to a variety of disciplines.
Objective: To compile in a single review all the information published related to mass
spectrometry of 26 chlorophyll derivatives, including chlorophyllides, pheophorbides,
pheophytins, and hydroxy-, lactone-, and pyro-chlorophyll derivatives.
Method: A detailed and extensive bibliographic search through the Web of ScienceTM
followed by a comprehensive and critic discussion.
Results: This review gathers all the information concerning mass spectroscopic characteristics published for
each non-allomerized chlorophyll of a and b series. This means that for each one of the 26 chlorophyll derivatives,
it has been compiled the complete information published of mass (or exact mass), mass spectrometry
technique and equipment (ionization method and mass analyzer), product ions, structural assignments and proposed
mechanisms (if available), detailing the references.
Conclusion: The evaluation of referenced data in literature has allowed to obtain common characteristics in
the mass spectrometry behavior between the different chlorophyll derivatives. In addition, specific product
ions have been reported, revealing specific structural modifications in the chlorophyll molecule, facilitating the
structural characterization. This review embraces the application of predictive software tools, which improve
accuracy of predictions and make straightforward the structural assignments.