The heat labile carotenoids cannot be analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and GC – mass spectrometry (GC – MS). The only useful method appears to be high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV/visible (UV/Vis) or mass spectrometric detection (LC – MS). Reversed-phase HPLC (RP-HPLC) is a preferred method, which is frequently used with C18 stationary phase, usually with gradient elution. In contrast to other ionization techniques, xanthophylls and carotenes form both molecular ions and protonated molecules during positive ion APCI (atmospheric pressure chemical ionization). APCI is an ideal method of ionization for low- to medium-polar compounds, which include also carotenoids and related compounds. Since their molecular mass does not exceed 2000 amu even in the case of glycosides or esters with fatty acids, this method is exceedingly suitable for their analysis. The review summarizes the data on its use for this group of compounds.
Keywords: Triacylglycerols, Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization, Mass spectrometry, High-performance liquid chromatography, Gas chromatography, Supercritical fluid chromatography, LC-MS/APCI
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