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Determination of Capsaicinoids in Salsa by Liquid Chromatography and Enzyme Immunoassay

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Two simple and rapid methods were developed to monitor pungency of salsa in production. Capsaicin (C) and dihydrocapsaicin (DHC) were quantitated in 17 commercially available tomato-based salsas by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and liquid chromatography (LC) with fluorescent detection. Samples were extracted with methanol and the extracts were subjected to solid-phase extraction (SPE) using polystyrene-divinylbenzene columns. Analysis of SPE eluates showed good correlation (r2 = 0.953) between LC and EIA, with a slightly high bias for EIA. Salsa fortified with C and DHC from 0.118 to 103.2 μg/g resulted in recoveries of 90–112%(C) and 76–97%(DHC). Limits of detection by LC were 0.1 μg/g for each capsaicinoid and 0.1 μg/g by EIA for total capsaicinoids. The LC on-column response was linear from 0.2 to 100 ng for both C and DHC, whereas the working range for EIA was 0.1–2.0 ppm. Pungency varied between different salsa brands labeled mild, medium, and hot.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Maine, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Orono, ME 04469. 2: Beacon Analytical Systems, Portland, ME 04103. 3: Bangor High School, Bangor, ME 04401.

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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