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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 May 1;61(17):4011-8. doi: 10.1021/jf3053862. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Optimized GC-MS method to simultaneously quantify acetylated aldose, ketose, and alditol for plant tissues based on derivatization in a methyl sulfoxide/1-methylimidazole system.

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College of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Beijing Forestry University , Beijing 100083, People's Republic of China.


The isomers of monosaccharide always produce multiple chromatographic peaks as volatile derivatives during gas chromatography, which may result in the overlapping of different sugar peaks. Whereas reduction and oximation of sugar carbonyl groups for GC analysis do eliminate many isomer derivatives, the approaches create new problems. One ketose can yield two peaks by oximation, and different aldoses and ketoses can yield the same alditol upon reduction, leading to the inability to detect some important monosaccharides. This paper reports an optimal method that yields a single peak per sugar by acetylation directly. By using a methyl sulfoxide (Me2SO)/1-methylimidazole (1-MeIm) system, the carbohydrates in acetic anhydride (Ac2O) esterification reactions were solubilized, and the oxidation that normally occurs was inhibited. The results demonstrate that acetylated derivatives of 23 saccharides had unique peaks, which indicates aldose, ketose, and alditol can be determined simultaneously by GC-MS.

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