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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Oct 9;50(21):5787-90.

Analysis of xanthophylls in corn by HPLC.

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  • 1Agricultural Bioprocess Laboratory, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, 1302 West Pennsylvania Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


An HPLC method was developed using the C-30 carotenoid column to separate and identify the major xanthophylls in corn (lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin). A photodiode array detector and a mobile phase consisting of methyl tert-butyl ether/methanol/water was used. All three xanthophylls eluted in less than 25 min. Yellow dent corn had a total xanthophyll content of 21.97 microg/g with lutein content of 15.7 microg/g, zeaxanthin content of 5.7 microg/g, and beta-cryptoxanthin of 0.57 microg/g. Commercial corn gluten meal had a 7 times higher concentration of xanthophylls (145 microg/g), and deoiled corn contained 18 microg/g, indicating that the xanthophylls are probably bound to the zein fraction of corn proteins.

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