Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2013 May 15;927:223-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2012.10.021. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Determination of 2-methylimidazole, 4-methylimidazole and 2-acetyl-4-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydroxybutyl)imidazole in caramel colours and cola using LC/MS/MS.

Author information

  • 1Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weißenburger Str. 3, D-76187 Karlsruhe, Germany.


Substituted imidazoles recently came under scrutiny as they may be indirectly introduced into cola beverages via the use of class IV (E150d) caramel colours and may pose health hazards. A LC/MS/MS method was developed for determining 2- and 4-methylimidazole (2-MI, 4-MI) and 2-acetyl-4-(1,2,3,4)-tetrahydroxybutylimidazole (THI) in beverages and caramel colours. The method is very rapid and easy to conduct as it requires only dilution in eluent for sample preparation. For 4-MI, the recovery was between 94 and 102% for spiked cola samples. The limit of detection was 2μg/L in the measuring solution (corresponding to 40μg/L for cola samples diluted 1:20 during sample preparation). 97 cola samples and 13 caramel colours from Germany and France were analysed. From the 3 analytes, only 4-MI was found in the samples with very varying concentrations (non quantifiable traces to 0.6mg/L in colas and 175-658mg/kg in E150d). The exposure for cola drinkers in worst case scenarios is estimated to be 2-5μg/kg bodyweight/day, which is judged as being only a low risk for public health.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk