Background: Phospholipids are widely used in food and pharmaceutical industry as functional
excipients. In spite of the many analytical methods reported, there are very limited reports concerning
systematic research and comparison of phospholipid excipients.
Objective: To present a comprehensive evaluation of commercial natural phospholipid excipients
Methods: Seventeen batches of CNPEs from five manufacturing enterprises, isolated either from soybean
or egg yolk, were investigated. The content and composition of phospholipids, fatty acids and
sterols as a whole were considered as the evaluative index of CNPEs. Eight kinds of phospholipids
were determined by Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC), twenty-one kinds of fatty acids were
determined by Gas Chromatography (GC) after boron trifluoride-methanol derivatization, and nine
kinds of sterols were determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) after separation
and derivatization of the unsaponifiable matter. Cluster analysis was employed for the classification
and identification of the CNPEs.
Results: The results showed that each kind of CNPEs had its characteristic content and composition of
phospholipids, fatty acids and sterols. Seventeen batches of samples were divided into eight groups in
cluster analysis. CNPEs of the same type from different source (soybean or egg yolk) or enterprises
presented different content and composition of phospholipids, fatty acids and sterols.
Conclusion: Each type of CNPEs had its characteristic content and composition of phospholipid, fatty
acid and sterol. The compositions of phospholipid, fatty acid and sterol as a whole can be applied as an
indicator of the quality and characteristics for CNPEs.