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Rapid Planar Chromatographic Analysis of 25 Water-Soluble Dyes Used as Food Additives

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A rapid planar chromatographic method for identification and quantification of 25 water-soluble dyes in food was developed. In a horizontal developing chamber, the chromatographic separation on silica gel 60F254 high-performance thin-layer chromatography plates took 12 min for 40 runs in parallel, using 8 mL ethyl acetatemethanolwateracetic acid (65 + 23 + 11 + 1, v/v/v/v) mobile phase up to a migration distance of 50 mm. However, the total analysis time, inclusive of application and evaluation, took 60 min for 40 runs. Thus, the overall time/run can be calculated as 1.5 min with a solvent consumption of 200 L. A sample throughput of 1000 runs/8 h day can be reached by switching between the working stations (application, development, and evaluation) in a 20 min interval, which triples the analysis throughput. Densitometry was performed by absorption measurement using the multiwavelength scan mode in the UV and visible ranges. Repeatabilities [relative standard deviation (RSD), 4 determinations] at the first or second calibration level showed precisions of mostly 2.7, ranging between 0.2 and 5.2. Correlation coefficient values (R 0.9987) and RSD values (4.2) of the calibration curves were highly satisfactory using classical quantification. However, digital evaluation of the plate image was also used for quantification, which resulted in RSD values of the calibration curves of mostly 3.0, except for two 6.0. The method was applied for the analysis of some energy drinks and bakery ink formulations, directly applied after dilution. By recording of absorbance spectra in the visible range, the identities of the dyes found in the samples were ascertained by comparison with the respective standard bands (correlation coefficients 0.9996). If necessary for confirmation, online mass spectra were recorded within a minute.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hohenheim, Institute of Food Chemistry, Garbenstrae 28, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany.

Publication date: 28 May 2009

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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