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J Chromatogr A. 2006 Jan 20;1103(1):170-6. Epub 2005 Dec 7.

Simultaneous determination of water-soluble and fat-soluble synthetic colorants in foodstuff by high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection-electrospray mass spectrometry.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China.


An accurate method was developed for the simultaneous determination of water-Tartrazine, Amaranth, Ponceau 4R, Sunset Yellow FCF, and fat-Sudan (I-IV), synthetic soluble colorants in foodstuff. This method uses dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) as the extraction solvent in the sample preparation process and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-diode array detector (DAD)-electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), applying selected ion recording in positive/negative alternate mode to acquire mass spectral data, as the analytical technique. Linearity of around three orders in the magnitude of concentration was generally obtained. Detection and quantification limits of the investigated dyes, which were evaluated at signal to noise ratio of 3 for detection limit and 10 for quantification limit, were in the ranges of 0.01-4 and 0.03-11.2 ng, respectively. The recoveries of the eight synthetic colorants in four matrices ranged from 93.2 to 108.3%. Relative standard deviations of less than 8.2% were also achieved. This method has been applied successfully in the determination of water-soluble colorants in the soft drink and the delicious ginger, and fat-soluble dyes in chilli powders and chilli spices.

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