Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Screening of Carotenoids in Tomato Fruits by Using Liquid Chromatography with Diode Array-Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry Detection.

PMID 26257083


This paper presents an analytical strategy for a large-scale screening of carotenoids in tomato fruits by exploiting the potentialities of the triple quadrupole-linear ion trap hybrid mass spectrometer (QqQLIT). The method involves separation on C30 reversed-phase column and identification by means of diode array detection (DAD) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (APCI-MS). The authentic standards of six model compounds were used to optimize the separative conditions and to predict the chromatographic behavior of untargeted carotenoids. An information dependent acquisition (IDA) was performed with (i) enhanced-mass scan (EMS) as the survey scan, (ii) enhanced-resolution (ER) scan to obtain the exact mass of the precursor ions (16-35 ppm), and (iii) enhanced product ion (EPI) scan as dependent scan to obtain structural information. LC-DAD-multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) chromatograms were also acquired for the identification of targeted carotenoids occurring at low concentrations; for the first time, the relative abundance between the MRM transitions (ion ratio) was used as an extra tool for the MS distinction of structural isomers and the related families of geometrical isomers. The whole analytical strategy was high-throughput, because a great number of experimental data could be acquired with few analytical steps, and cost-effective, because only few standards were used; when applied to characterize some tomato varieties ('Tangerine', 'Pachino', 'Datterino', and 'Camone') and passata of 'San Marzano' tomatoes, our method succeeded in identifying up to 44 carotenoids in the 'Tangerine'" variety.

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β-Carotene 5,6-epoxide, ≥85.0% (HPLC)