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J Chromatogr A. 2005 Dec 9;1098(1-2):111-5. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Determination of biogenic amines in chocolate by ion chromatographic separation and pulsed integrated amperometric detection with implemented wave-form at Au disposable electrode.

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Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padua, via Marzolo 1, I-35131 Padova, Italy.


A rapid and selective cation exchange chromatographic method coupled to integrated pulsed amperometric detection (PAD) has been developed to quantify biogenic amines in chocolate. The method is based on gradient elution of aqueous methanesulfonic acid with post column addition of strong base to obtain suitable conditions for amperometric detection. A potential waveform able to keep long time performance of the Au disposable electrode was set up. Total analysis time is less than 20min. Concentration levels of dopamine, serotonin, tyramine, histamine and 2-phenylethylamine were measured, after extraction with perchloric acid from 2g samples previously defatted twice with petroleum ether. The method was used to determine the analytes in chocolate real matrices and their quantification was made with standard addition method. Only dopamine, histamine and serotonin were found in the analysed real samples. Repeatabilities of their signals, computed on their amounts in the real samples, were 5% for all of them. Repeatabilities of tyramine and phenethylamine were relative to standard additions to real samples (close to 1mg/l in the extract) and were 7 and 3%, respectively. Detection limits were computed with the 3s of the baseline noise combined with the calibration plot regression parameters. They were satisfactorily low for all amines: 3mg/kg for dopamine, 2mg/kg for tyramine, 1mg/kg for histamine, 2mg/kg for serotonin, 3mg/kg for 2-phenylethylamine.

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