Volume 59 (2010) Issue 2 Pages 81-88
A novel method to quantify glycidol fatty acid esters (GEs), supposed to present as food processing contaminants in edible oils, has been developed in combination with double solid-phase extractions (SPEs) and LC-MS measurements. The analytes were five species of synthetic GEs: glycidol palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid esters. The use of selected ion monitoring in a positive ion mode of atmospheric chemical ionization-MS with a reversed-phase gradient LC provided a limit of quantification of 0.0045-0.012 μg/mL for the standard GEs, which enables the detection of GEs in μg ranges per gram of edible oil. Using the double SPE procedure first in reversed-phase and then in normal-phase second, allowed large amounts of co-existing acylglycerols in the oils to be removed, which improved the robustness and stability of the method in sequential runs of LC-MS measurements. When the method was used to quantify GEs in three commercial sources of edible oils, the recovery% ranged from 71.3 to 94.6% (average 79.4%) with a relative standard deviation of 2.9-12.1% for the two oils containing triacylglycerols as major components, and ranged from 90.8 to 105.1% (average 97.2%) with a relative standard deviation of 2.1-12.0% for the other, diacylglycerol-rich oil. Although the accuracy and precision of the method may not be yet sufficient, it is useful for determining trace levels of GEs and will be helpful for the quality control of edible oils.