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Anal Biochem. 1995 Sep 20;230(2):224-8.

Positional isomerization of trans-3-hexadecenoic acid employing 2-amino-2-methyl-propanol as a derivatizing agent for ethylenic bond location by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Canadian Institute of Fisheries Technology, Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada.


The effect of derivatization with 2-amino-2-methyl-propanol on trans-3-hexadecenoic acid was investigated as part of the identification of the trans-3-hexadecenoic acid in two Nova Scotian seaweeds. After the extraction of the total fatty acids and their methylation, the monoenoic trans fraction was isolated by thin-layer chromatography on silica gels impregnated with silver nitrate. This fraction was first analyzed by gas chromatography and showed the presence of the trans-3-hexadecenoic acid; other fatty acids were not present. The isolated fraction was derivatized with 2-amino-2-methyl-propanol prior to analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The chromatogram obtained showed the presence of a positional isomer formed during the derivatization of the trans-3-hexadecenoic acid. The mass spectrum showed a prominent [M+H] and diagnostic ions for the identification of the unknown isomer, corresponding to the 4,4-dimethyloxazoline (DMOX) derivative of a presumed 2-hexadecenoic acid. Definitive confirmation of the ethylenic bond position was obtained by oxidative ozonolysis of the DMOX derivatives of the fatty acids under investigation. Infrared spectroscopy showed that the artifact formed during the DMOX derivatization of trans-3-hexadecenoic acid was the DMOX derivative of cis-2-hexadecenoic acid.

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