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Determination of Methylcellulose and Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Food Gums in Food and Food Products: Collaborative Study

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A collaborative study was performed to determine the reproducibility of a method for the determination of methylcellulose (MC) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) in food. These widely used food gums possess unusual solubility characteristics and cannot accurately be determined by existing dietary fiber methods. The new method uses the enzyme-digestion procedure of AOAC Official Method 991.43. Digestate solutions must be refrigerated to fully hydrate MC or HPMC. The chilled solutions are filtered and analyzed by size-exclusion liquid chromatography. Collaborating laboratories received 28 samples containing MC or HPMC in the range of 0100%. The sample set included blind duplicates of 5 food matrixes (bread, milk, fish, potato, and powdered juice drink). Cochran and Grubbs tests were used to eliminate outliers. For food samples containing MC, values for within-laboratory precision, repeatability relative standard deviation (RSDr), ranged from 4.2 to 16%, and values for among-laboratories precision, reproducibility relative standard deviation (RSDR), ranged from 11 to 20%. For HPMC samples, RSDr values ranged from 6.4 to 27%, and RSDR values ranged from 17 to 39%. Recoveries of MC and HPMC from the food matrixes ranged from 78 to 101%. These results show acceptable precision and reproducibility for the determination of MC and HPMC, for which no Official AOAC Methods exist. It is recommended that this method be adopted as AOAC Official First Action.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Dow Chemical Co., Analytical Sciences, Building 1897, Midland, MI 48667. 2: The Dow Chemical Co., METHOCEL Food Gum Applications Group, Larkin Laboratory, 1691 N. Swede Rd, Midland, MI 48674.

Publication date: 2007-05-01

More about this publication?
  • 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 The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better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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