Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2013 Dec;18(4):263-8. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2013.18.4.263.

Determination of 4-Methylimidazole and 2-Acetyl-4()- tetrahydroxybutylimidazole in Caramel Color and Processed Foods by LC-MS/MS.

Author information

  • Department of Food and Drug, Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and Environment, Seoul 138-701, Korea.


In this study, the quick HPLC-MS/MS method for the simultaneous separation of 2-acetyl-4(5)-tetrahydrox-ybuthylimidazole (THI) and 4-(5)-methylimidazole (4-MI) in alkaline medium was used for caramel color and processed foods in Korea. After a simple sample pretreatment, 51 4-MI-labeled samples were positive for 4-MI and 2 also contained THI. The concentration of 4-MI was 260.5 ~ 24,499.3 μg/kg in caramel color, less than LOD ~ 1,712.5 μg/kg in sauce, 1,242.3, 5,972.2 μg/kg in balsamic vinegar, 2,118.3 ~ 5,802.4 μg/kg in complex seasoning, 82.7 ~ 5,110.6 μg/kg in curry, and 29.9 ~ 464.4 μg/kg in soft drinks. The recovery rate of 4-MI was 97.1 ~ 111.0% in sauce and 81.9 ~ 110.0% in powder and that of THI was 83.6 ~ 106.4% in sauce and 61.2 ~ 99.4% in powder. Our results concluded a safe amount of 4-MI and THI compared to the limit of Korea additive code but the processed foods do not have a limit of caramel color and 4-MI in Korea. Therefore, research and monitoring of 4-MI and THI is needed for processed foods in Korea.


2-acethyl-4(5)-tetrahydroxybuthyl imidazole; 4(5)-methylimidazole; LC-MS/MS; caramel color

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk