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J Chromatogr A. 1999 Dec 24;864(2):283-91.

Characterisation of hydrolysable tannins from leaves of Betula pubescens by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Turku, Finland.


A high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS) method, assisted by diode array detection, for the characterisation of individual hydrolysable tannins in birch leaves was developed. With the method, it was found that birch (Betula pubescens) leaves contained an exceptionally complex mixture of hydrolysable tannins; 14 gallotannins and 20 ellagitannins were identified. The developed HPLC-ESI-MS method allows the qualitative and quantitative determination of individual gallotannins and ellagitannins directly from crude birch leaf extract. This is important in studying ecological functions of these phenolic compounds, especially their role in the resistance of birch leaves against insects.

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