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J Chromatogr. 1992 Mar 20;595(1-2):89-101.

Evaluation of reversed-phase liquid chromatographic columns for recovery and selectivity of selected carotenoids.

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Organic Analytical Research Division, Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.


Sixty commercially available and five experimental liquid chromatography columns were evaluated for the separation and recovery of seven carotenoid compounds. Methanol- and acetonitrile-based solvents (either straight or modified with ethyl acetate or tetrahydrofuran) were compared to determine which solvent systems and which columns provided better selectivity and recovery. Methanol-based solvents typically provided higher recoveries than did acetonitrile-based solvents. Polymeric C18 phases generally provided better selectivity for the difficult separation of lutein and zeaxanthin than did monomeric C18 phases.

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