An improved UHPLC-UV method for separation and quantification of carotenoids in vegetable crops. Food Chemistry. May 17, 2014. Megan M. Maurer, Jonathan R. Mein, Swapan K. Chaudhuri, Howard L. Constant
Monsanto Center for Food and Nutrition Research, North Carolina Research Campus, 150 N. Research Campus Dr. Ste 3700, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
Carotenoid identification and quantitation is critical for the development of improved nutrition plant varieties. Industrial analysis of carotenoids is typically carried out on multiple crops with potentially thousands of samples per crop, placing critical needs on speed and broad utility of the analytical methods. Current chromatographic methods for carotenoid analysis have had limited industrial application due to their low throughput, requiring up to 60 minutes for complete separation of all compounds. We have developed an improved UHPLC-UV method that resolves all major carotenoids found in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var.italica), carrot (Daucus carota), corn (Zea mays), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The chromatographic method is completed in 13.5 minutes allowing for the resolution of the 11 carotenoids of interest, including the structural isomers lutein/zeaxanthin and α-/β-carotene. Additional minor carotenoids have also been separated and identified with this method, demonstrating the utility of this method across major commercial food crops.